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Friday, October 2, 2009

Cabaret - first night at Reps 01 October 2009

If audience appreciation is the guideline to whether a production is a success or a failure there is no doubt at all that the latest production to be staged at Reps – Cabaret – directed by Zane E Lucus – is a definite success!

I have always found Zimbabwe audiences to be appreciative – in fact perhaps too much if they are enjoying themselves. I was brought up not to clap individual numbers and save the applause for the end of the act – but times change and even I found myself giving a round of applause after most of the numbers. There were comments from the audience and laughter at certain moments.

They loved it!

Cabaret is an ambitious production for any company and the stage at Reps was not built with a large scale musical in mind but the production was scaled down – not too much – to accommodate the limited resources.

I have always felt that Reps has a very high standard of productions and this is thanks to the people who are able to adapt to the restrictions in their path – whether this is size of stage or equipment.

On entering the auditorium one is met by a glitzy, light filled set against a red background. This is kept in place throughout the production as sets are brought down and taken up and replaced by other – all very minamistic – white against the red or grey lighted drop behind which the orchestra performed.

The orchestra gave a first class performance playing behind this almost transparent screen through which one could see the glitter of the brass instruments keeping to the jazzy atmosphere. Hats off to Annette Eastwood for her musical direction.
The dancers were well coordinated and gave their all. It is not easy for dancers trained in ballet to adapt to musicals as often the arms and the faces are too balletic. Nikkie Carter is a talented choreographer and we are lucky to have her here in Zimbabwe.
The songs were belted out in true fashion and the famous ‘Cabaret’ number was a highlight

What can I say about the cast?
They all gave exceptional performances – to me Josh Amsley as the Emcee was the star of the show – he took the part and gave the right amount of sexuality and jazziness to the role. His voice is exceptional as so are his acting talents – he looked the part and was not afraid of immersing himself in the character.

The performances by Jamie McLaren as Sally Bowles, Natalie Bradbury as Rosy and Jason Linforth as Chris Bradshaw were true to the atmosphere and spirit of the time and story line. All difficult roles to play and performed with felling for the time and the story line.
I could go on – Hamish Haddow as Max, Anne Fischer as Fraulein Schneider – each and everyone of the cast have put in tremendous work and produced an enjoyable and professional production.

I am always heartened that in difficult times we still manage to fill the Reps auditorium – and it is because of productions such as Cabaret.

Thank you all at ‘Under the Influence’ for providing us with this experience.

recommend this production for an entertaining night out for anyone in Harare.

Odette Lind 02 October 2009.

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