Main Pavilion, Armidale Showground - November/December 2005
Directed by Gordon Cope and Barbara Albury
Music by John Kander. Lyrics by Fred Ebb. Book by Joe Masteroff. Based on the play by John van Druten and the stories by Christopher Isherwood. In association with Tams Whitmark.
Scene 1 - The Kit Kat Club
Cabaret... didn't like the film.. but the stage play, now here was something of substance. A play that is so pertinent to our time, when political leaders keep telling us that we must forgo our freedoms, stop clinging to foolish ideas like human rights and work even harder to bring about the golden economic age and master the terrorist foe. The Third Reich was built upon such rhetoric. Cabaret has characters who taunt society with their actions, who challenge sexual mores and again those who are born to the wrong religion or whose age and economic circumstances make them vulnerable and afraid. Many of these people will be swept into the gutter by the torrent that was the Nazi revolution.
Some would be well satisfied that the society had undergone a cleansing, a moral revival but the poverty of spirit that ensues from the loss of our fringe dwellers makes us bland and inhuman. Whatever one may think about the lifestyles of those on the edge, however personally repugnant or politically unacceptable it is, these people make us think. We would not be challenged to think abou environmental issues with the extremist greens, we would not move beyond our heterosexual view of the world, the nuclear family with 2.3 children, with the gays, lesbians, trans-sexuals and cross-dressers who cry to us every day, “I am human too”.
You may not like Sally Bowles, she is scatty and selfish and often frustratingly silly, she has no epiphany, no sudden miraculous change but she captures us precisely because she does not care. We who are tied to our complex society which demands a level of specialisation that deprives us of more fundamental skills, that demands a life commitment to work before the superannuation prize is granted, we who are enmeshed are captivated by such uncaring, such nonchalance. And Cliff, often the voice of reason but struggling with a sexuality that marks him as different and therefore on the fringe, rips into our normal lives and demands our compassion but disturbs our comfort.
Schneider and Schultz are the innocent victims of their time, powerless to fight against the injustice that overwhelms them. Frauline Kost is marginalised by her profession but manipulative and opportunistic – she will survive. The ‘evil’ Nazi, Ernst is the ultimate conundrum, a likeable fellow in a cause heading for hell.
The Emcee, perhaps the most marginalised of all, portrays a figure that sees, hears and understands. He reflects all the feelings and shocks us with his commentary, he is marked for eradication and we are the poorer.
All these characters are human, they touch us, worry us and jostle us into living.
Emcee: Martin Mantle, Cliff: Warren Bartik, Ernst: Byron Spencer, Fraulein Schneider: Betty Hall, Fraulein Kost: Tracey James, Sally: Ruth Strutt, Max: Gordon Cope, Herr Schultz: Bob Thompson
Ensemble: Rosie: Claudia Martin. Lulu: Rebekah Engeler, Frenchie: Richelle Wilkins, Texas: Lindy Hardman, Fritzie: Katrina Lennox, Helga: Briahna Barry, Victor: Corin Barry, Bobby: Phil Schubert, Hans: Koro Sciasca, Herman: Mark Lawless, Uma: Liz Ellis, Mitzie: Marney Tilley, Koko: Ellen Fitzgerald
Band leader/keyboard: Terry Million, Clarinet/Saxophone: Janet Million, Kym Hall, Bass Guitar: Patrick Harris, Accordian: Sujata Allan, Trumpet/Trombone: Bruce Meyers, Dave Brown, Percussion: Steve Harris
Directors: Gordon Cope, Barbara Albury
Armidale Regional Tourism, Stuart Allardice at the Armidale Dumaresq Council, Matt Cooper at The Cattlemans Motor Inn, Paul Lomas and The Armidale Showground Trust, Steve Jamcek of Hubbard Party Hire, Stuart Devlin and Amy Sly of the Royal Hotel, Armidale High School, Facilities Management of UNE, TAS costume hire, Armidale Musical Society, Sport UNE, Donna Wainohu, Peter O'Donohue of UNE Theatre Studies, Peter Chambers of the Armidale Folk Museum, Denis Wright, Ross Maclennan of TRaMS, Ed Campbel and TUNE FM, Fritz Kreussler of the Belgrave Cinema, Dymocks Bookshop, John Morrow and Neville Graham at 2ARM FM, Pat Cody of the Waterfall Way magazine, Christian Knight and Crystal Robinson of the Armidale Express, Alex Borkowski, Gen Taverner
Armidale Cattleman's Motor Inn, Thrive in Armidale, The Royal Hotel Armidale, TRaMS
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