Will Young leads Norris' Cabaret back to West End, 3 Oct
Date: 18 May 2012
As previously tipped by Whatsonstage.com, pop star-turned-actor Will Young will make his West End debut in Rufus Norris’ revival of Cabaret, which opens at the Savoy Theatre on 3 October 2012 following a four-week national tour.
Young, who rose to fame as the winner of Pop Idol in 2002, will play the Emcee in Norris’ revised version of his multi award-winning 2006 production.
Speaking about his new role, he said: "I am very excited about the challenge of choosing Cabaret as my first musical theatre role. The role of the Emcee is a part I have wanted to play since before I started training at Arts Education in Chiswick when I first moved to London. With Rufus and Javier I couldn’t wish for better people to be surrounded by."
Based on the stories of Christopher Isherwood and the play by John Van Druten, Cabaret has a book by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. It premiered on Broadway in 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.
Norris’ Olivier Award-winning production originally opened at the West End’s Lyric Theatre in October 2006 with James Dreyfus as the Emcee and Anna Maxwell Martin as Sally, who was later succeeded by Kim Medcalf. Bill Kenwright subsequently produced a 2008/09 UK tour which starred Samantha Barks and Wayne Sleep.
According to the Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye, Norris and Kenwright have been in discussions with Young “for eight months” about him playing the master of ceremonies.
The production, which is choreographed by Javier de Frutos, will play a four-week UK tour before opening at the Savoy. It will visit the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (3-8 September), Theatre Royal, Nottingham (10-15 September), Theatre Royal, Norwich (17-22 September) and The Lowry, Salford (24-29 September).
Further casting is still to be announced.
Since winning the first series of ITV’s reality television competition Pop Idol, the 33-year-old Young has received two Brit Awards and released six albums. His chart-topping singles include “Leave Right Now”, “Friday’s Child”, “Light My Fire” and “Evergreen”. He made his professional acting debut on screen - alongside Dame Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins and Kelly Reilly - in Stephen Frears’ 2005 film Mrs Henderson Presents, and his professional stage debut in The Vortex at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre in 2007.
Currently at the Savoy, The Sunshine Boys starring Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths continues its limited run until 28 July 2012.
- by Theo Bosanquet
|Have just seen will young and Michelle Ryan in cabaret, they are both absolutely brilliant, I could watch it again tomorrow - Lillian newland||27 Oct 12|
|I really don't understand what all the fuss is all about. Ok acting, terrible singing (although a couple of exceptions), unimaginative scenography and cheap story. I honestly kept looking at my watch longing for the end. - Anna||22 Oct 12|
|Fantastic version of the show. Last saw Cabaret with Wayne Sleep as Emcee & didn't have such high expectations for Will Young but have to say was incredibly impressed, absolutely superb! The show is actually much darker & Will plays a disturbing Emcee, comic at times, tomorrow belongs to us is particularly disturbing as is the ending. I found the symbolism used genius. - AJ||17 Oct 12|
|This show has moved me more than any I've seen before. I though Will played Emcee perfectly, giving the role both comedy and an eeriness that isn't shown until the second half. His version of Tomorrow Belongs To Us was particularly frightening.
To those saying they thought there was too much comedy in it and it wasn't dark enough, but it all depends on how you took it. Scenes that would have been funny at the beginning brought me to tears by the end. Also there was a very big, but gradual, change from comedy to serious, which may be why someone who left during the interval didn't enjoy it. - Alice||05 Oct 12|
|Went to see Cabaret Saturday matinee at the Lowry. Already knew the story -thoroughly enjoyed the production particularly Will Young's brilliant performance -the part was made for him! The finale was eerie & for the majority of the audience totally unexpected. Well done to all - salley||01 Oct 12|
|Saw Cabaret at the Lowry in Salford last night. Had no idea what to expect as didn't know the story beforehand. I thought the show was excellent and Will Young's performance particularly superb. I was quite stunned by the ending which had the entire theatre mesmerised. - Donna||28 Sep 12|
|Went to see this at the Lowry tonight and left at the interval. Over an hour of my life I will never get back. - Chris Batty||25 Sep 12|
|fab show,went mat sat 22/9 norwich, whole cast was wonderful, will young and michelle ryan great,played their parts to perfection,audience well appreciated show by the standing ovation they recieved at the end.WELL DONE TO YOU ALL.GREAT SHOW xxxxxx - Jackie.||23 Sep 12|
|I find it hard to express how much I hated this production. A talented cast so the blame must lie with the direction.
Will Young played the MC like pantomime which negated the shocking and satirical moments. His best number was money money money where he achieved grotesque very well but the audience just laughed and the scene lost it's meaning.
Michelle Ryan can sing well and dance adequately but never really convinced as Sally Bowles.
Sian Phillips croaked her way through 4 uninteresting songs. The chorus were very good particularly the men.
I hated the audience which to a large degree seemed to be people who wanted to see Will Young and have a fun, jolly time, which is fine but a play about 1930's Berlin and all it entails isn't Starlight express! They laughed and whooped when they should have been shocked or moved.
A truly horrible experience. - John T||21 Sep 12|
|Saw the matinee at Norwich yesterday, could'nt understand anything Will Young said, his fans whooped at every move.Co Star Michelle Ryan can't sing. A disapointment indeed - Skeggy||20 Sep 12|
|I saw the show on Saturday, Will Young was a revelation. He was a superb emcee. - Russell ||17 Sep 12|
|Saw Cabaret in Southampton with Will Young leading. He was fantastic and gave a fabulous performance. His TV persona is not my cup of tea... and it was an immense surprise and pleasure to discover the man has real talent and charisma. - Nat||08 Sep 12|
|Saw Cabaret last night at Mayflower. Will Young was hysterical & thoroughly entertained us. Saw Will in concert which was awesome & loved the show last night, well done!! - Chris||07 Sep 12|
|Have just seen Will in Southampton, the show was great and Will fantastic, long may he reign in the Theatre. - D.Winter||06 Sep 12|
|Will Young will surprise many--don't underestimate his acting skills---Stephen Frears didn't and since then Will has appeared in The Vortex, the Bedlam series on Sky and various cameo parts. Envy his opportunities if you must "Westendgossip" but wait before you judge him . - Bluebell||17 Jul 12|
|I hope his acting is better than it has been in previous attenpts. I presume he's playing the same camp part he always plays. - sue||23 May 12|
|IAMSO PLEASED TO HEAR WILL HAS THIS CHANCE AT LAST WITH HIS VOICE AND I M SURE HE WILL SURPRISE A LOT OF PEOPLE WITH HIS TALENT AND BEAUTIFUL VOICE AND STAGE PERSOALITY SO GOOD LUCK WILL GO BREAK A LEG AS THEY SAYIN THE ARTS WORLD FROM A FAITHFUL FAN DOROTHYSHELLEY X
SHELLEY X - DOROTHY SHELLEY ||19 May 12|
|The last commentator is correct. The Kenwright/Norris/de Frutos production is appalling, coarse and an insult to the wonderful work itself. As for Will, lovely though he is, he can't act but, even if he could, he is totally miscast as the Emcee who is supposed to be seedy and menacing not fey and bewildered. If anything he should be playing Cliff. Tickets will no doubt be £65.00. Watch the film instead. - F Hill||19 May 12|
|It makes no difference who you put in it - this Kenright production is dreadful. I would happily pay to see Will Young in a decent production of this outstanding musical! - Js10886||18 May 12|
|Very excited, Have just booked tickets at the Mayflower as LOVE Will Young both as an artist and as an actor! - Lisa James||18 May 12|
|oh dear, so far his acting skills have been shown to be wanting. but you never know. - beach1e||18 May 12|
|This is great news Will Young is one of my favourite artists have seen him in concert 3 times, he deserves great success! - angela thurlow||18 May 12|
|Sadly can not act at all and would make a better Cliff, hey ho. They will all come to see him naked.
Good luck I say. - westendgossip||18 May 12|
|Can't wait to see this; the guy is perfect for the role! - Fred owen||18 May 12|
|dorothy shelleyif this is true about willyoung being in caberet iam thrilled for him he so deserves to be is something like this at last with his voice and stage personality ive always wished 4 this 2happen 4 him oh please god letit be true xxxxx
- dorothy shelley||18 May 12|
|Good spot! That's now been amended. - WOS||18 May 12|
|Great news about Will staring in Cabaret.Will has released 6 albums not 3.
From Now On. Fridays Child. Keep On. Let it Go. The Hits, and Echoes! - catherine bevis||18 May 12|
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