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Cabaret wows audiences

Published by Oakham School on Tuesday 15th of December 2015

Oakham’s actors have put on an outstanding display of their talent in the Main School Production of John Kander, Fred Ebb and Joe Masteroff’s Tony Award-winning musical Cabaret. The 19-strong cast wowed a packed-out theatre each of the four nights they performed. “To perform at this level – dazzling the audience each and every night – is not only impressive, but also a testament to the quality of Theatre at Oakham,” says Director of Drama, Gilly Norell. “They adeptly showed, with great poignancy at times, the struggle of living in pre-World War II Germany,” continues Gilly. “They excellently juxtaposed the vibrancy and allure of Berlin’s nightlife, alongside the impending threat of Third Reich. They were able to depict, with a sensitivity beyond their years, the struggle faced by many during this time - of choosing between living with oblivious optimism or facing stark reality.” Konstantin Stanchev brought an astounding level of energy and bittersweet comedy to the play as the Master of Ceremonies, Emcee. India Martin stunned the audience with her portrayal of Sally Bowles, alongside Austin Steele who expertly captured Clifford Bradshaw’s character. The doomed romance between German boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider and her elderly suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor, was wonderfully and poignantly portrayed by Ellie Tidswell and Aneurin Conant. Douglas Saxey-Santillo Hempkin played the ominous Ernst Ludwig, expertly characterising the growing influence of the Third Riech, whilst Emily Atkinson depicted Fräulein Kost with great energy, style and humour. As one has come to expect with any performance at the QET, the set was astonishing, cleverly providing space for not only the band, but also the many levels of action that needed to take place. The costumes also dazzled, with the strong supporting cast of ‘Kit Kat Club’ girls (Beth Lawton-Sergeant, Francesca Kennard-Kettle, Jenny Shen, Clo Farmer, Sophie Blackburn, Lily McNeill, Amber Goddard, Sylvie Copley) and the team of German sailors, waiters and officers (Tom Sparrow, Nash Nørgaard Morton, Henry Gomm, Léon Moule) having a stunning range of costumes and personae throughout the play. The audience enjoyed outstanding singing, accompanied by an expert band (Anne Mortimer, David Sun, Adam Hebditch, Andrew Jones, Imogen Fell, Tom Clough, Dickon Fell, Steve Foster and Morgan Overton) and complex dance routines – including a memorable kick line cabaret routine from the Kit Kat girls, which merged into a chilling goose-step. A night to be remembered from an era very much to be feared.
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