Cabaret: Maxwell Martin, Dreyfus, Hancock, HaydenDate: 18 August 2006
As previously tipped (See The Goss, 14 Aug 2006), Anna Maxwell Martin, James Dreyfus and Sheila Hancock will star in Rufus Norris’ revival of Cabaret, which opens on 10 October 2006 (previews from 22 September) at the West End’s Lyric Theatre (See News, 13 Jun 2006). The Britons will be joined by American Michael Hayden, whose Broadway career took off after appearing on the London stage as Billy Bigelow in the 1992 National Theatre production of Carousel.
Anna Maxwell Martin will make her West End musical debut playing the sultry Sally Bowles, who sings nightly at the infamous Kit Kat Klub in 1930s Berlin. Maxwell Martin is best known for her many play credits including His Dark Materials (in which she created the role of Lyra – pictured), The Coast of Utopia, Three Sisters, Dumb Show, Honour and, most recently, Other Hands as well as TV’s Bleak House.
James Dreyfus, who plays the nightclub’s Emcee, is currently appearing in the West End in Michael Frayn’s comedy Donkeys' Years. His previous musical credits include Lady in the Dark (for which he won an Olivier) and The Producers (in which he created the London role of Carmen Ghia). He’s also well known for his screen work in the likes of Gimme Gimme Gimme, The Thin Blue Line, Absolutely Fabulous, Notting Hill and Colour Me Kubrick.
Sixties icon Sheila Hancock, who plays Fraulein Schneider, began her career in musical theatre, comedy and revue. Her successes in the 1960s and 1970s – such as The Bed-sit Girl, The Rag Trade and But Seriously, It’s Sheila Hancock - were followed by stage credits for the RSC, the National and in the West End with, most notably, Sweeney Todd and Annie. On screen, her credits have included Three Men and a Little Lady, Love and Death on Long Island, Bedtime, The Russian Bride, Carry On Cleo, The Wildcats of St Trinian’s and EastEnders. She was last seen in the West End last year in Bill McIllwraith's comedy The Anniversary, for which she was nominated for the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Actress.
Following his NT turn in Carousel, Michael Hayden made his Broadway debut when the Rodgers and Hammerstein revival transferred to New York’s Vivian Beaumont Theater. In Cabaret, Hayden will play Clifford Bradshaw, a part he played in 1999 in Sam Mendes’ Broadway production of the Kander and Ebb musical at Studio 54. His other New York credits include Festen (directed by Rufus Norris), Henry IV, Judgment at Nuremburg, Dessa Rosa and All My Sons.
Cabaret turns Weimar Berlin into a dark and sexually charged haven of decadence, its morally ambiguous inhabitants determined to keep up appearances as the real world - outside the sanctuary of the cabaret - prepares for the chaos of war. Based on the stories of Christopher Isherwood and the play by John Van Druten, it has a book by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb.
Cabaret premiered on Broadway on 1966 and in 1972 was made into an Oscar-winning film starring Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles, Michael York as Cliff and Joel Grey as the Emcee. The stage musical was famously revived by Sam Mendes at London’s Donmar Warehouse in 1993. That production later transferred to Broadway, where it ran from 1998 to 2004.
This new production of Cabaret is designed by Katrina Lindsay, choreographed by Javier De Frutos and produced by Bill Kenwright Ltd. It’s initially booking at the Lyric until 7 April 2007. The cast will also feature Geoffrey Hutchings (as Herr Schultz), Harriet Thorpe (Fraulein Kost) and Andrew Maud (Ernst Ludwig).
- by Terri Paddock