THEATRE REVIEW: Will Young in Cabaret at Hull New Theatre

Will Young stars as the Emcee in Cabaret
Will Young stars as the Emcee in Cabaret

Welcome to early 1930s Germany, the Kit Kat Club, Berlin’s premier nightclub. And tonight the club is absolutely packed.

They’ve all come to see the star attraction – popstar Will Young. I can’t imagine many venues virtually selling out on a Monday night, but tonight Hull New Theatre is full to the rafters.

Will has proved quite a draw. The audience is a mixture of seasoned theatre-goes and fans of his. And neither is disappointed.

The show opens with the Pop Idol winner peering through the O of a giant Wilkommen sign, welcoming everyone to the Cabaret.

The musical tells the story of American writer Cliff Bradshaw, who arrives in swinging Berlin hoping to soak up the culture and make it as a novellist.

He encounters the lively locals at his boarding house and at the Kit Kat Club.

Singer Sally Bowles is the drama queen who turns Cliff’s life upside down, and the couple become best friends and roommates.

To illustrate the freethinking attitudes of the time, there are racy costumes and routines. Some brief flashes of nudity draw gasps and giggles from the audience.

But the joy of the first half turns much darker in the second as the rise of the Nazi party affects everyone’s lives.

This version of the classic musical – complete with live band – brought West End production values to Hull for a quality show. There are some stand out performances, especially from Matt Rawle as Cliff and Siobhan Dillon as Sally Bowles.

Her belting rendition of Maybe This Time had the whole audience talking in the interval.

But the show belongs to Will Young as the manic, comic, silly Emcee, who holds the whole show together. The stage completely lights up whenever he walks on stage, that famous voice in full effect on Tomorrow Belongs To Me.

Cabaret is a daring, thrilling musical with added Will power. Worth the standing ovation.

Cabaret is at Hull New Theatre until Saturday 23 November.