Re-review: Jake Shears and Rebecca Lucy Taylor in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre

I sneak into Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre one more time to catch Jake Shears and Rebecca Lucy Taylor before they leave

“Would you pay the price?
What would you do?”

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club has now established itself as the new albeit less chaotic 2:22 A Ghost Story in terms of its rolling roster of lead performers – its award-winning openers Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley followed by Fra Fee and Amy Lennox, Callum Scott Howells and Madeline Brewer, John McCrea and Aimee Lou Wood, Mason Alexander Park and Maude Apatow and now Jake Shears and Rebecca Lucy Taylor in turn. They’ve successfully avoided the charge of stunt casting thus far with some clever, slightly left-field choices, but with Cara Delevingne lined up to join Luke Treadaway with a list of more 20 dates she’s not appearing in her 12-week run, I’m holding my breath somewhat….

Still, to the matter at hand. The show is too expensive to catch every cast change, from decent seats at least, so I haven’t seen it since the December before last but the chance to see an actual Scissor Sister and Self Esteem tempted me back to the Playhouse Theatre, albeit in the final week of their extended run. Shears queers up the Emcee just as you like with an arching physicality and Taylor has an immense vocal presence as Sally Bowles, whilst also locating an affecting strand of vulnerability to her characterisation which, to my mind, puts her right up there with Buckley – a truly excellent interpretation.

There’s not too much more to say about Rebecca Frecknall’s production that I haven’t covered already in previous reviews (linked above). The novelty may have worn off a little for some as the show enters its third year and seventh lead cast change but inspired casting and the assured quality means that audiences both new and returning have not been difficult to find, even in this economy. You just have to hope that continues.

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