Liverpool Empire.

Berlin in the early 1930s brought opportunities for many seeking their fame and fortune with its glitz and glamour, and for young wannabe cabaret singer Sally Bowles the pull of the limelight is just too strong.

Will Young as the Emcee in <i>Cabaret</i>.
Will Young as the Emcee in Cabaret.
©Kenwrights

Based on Christopher Isherwood's short novel "Goodbye To Berlin" (1939) - Cabaret follows the story of the Nazis rise to power and Sally's experiences performing in the Kit Kat Club and her relationship with gay American writer Cliff Bradshaw.

Taking on the role of Sally is Siobhan Dillon, perhaps best known for finishing third in Andrew Lloyd Webber's How Do You Solve A Problem like Maria? she brings plenty of energy to the role and proved herself a very capable performer.

Her rendition of "Cabaret" is one of the highlights of the show. Playing alongside Dillon, Matt Rawle does a splendid job as Clifford Bradshaw. As this is quite a wordy show (there are less then 20 songs throughout) there is not much chance to show of his voice, but he plays Bradshaw comfortably and carries his American accent strongly throughout.

What lifts this production and brings it to another level however, is the extraordinary performance from Will Young playing the mischievous, child-like character of Emcee. With his face painted white and a different bizarre costume in almost every scene, he manages to shock, amuse and dazzle the audience all at the same time.

He has some of the most complicated songs, which he sings in a strong German accent. Most of these routines are mainly humorous and very quick paced, accompanied by the incredible ensemble and with some clever choreography by Javier De Frutos, makes this show a little bit different.

Linal Haft and 70's pop star sensation Lyn Paul, make a sweet couple as Herr Schultz and Fraulein Schneider, although Paul was strong in vocals, her German accent is inconsistent throughout, overshadowed by the stronger accents around her.

With the music, costumes and set, this is a great show and really captures the atmosphere of the time.

- Janie Phillips