30 November 2009

Review of Final Night!

Thank you very much from one of the fans Bill, who in detail wrote his experience of seeing Cabaret this past year. Fans can look back on this passage to remember these great 3 months Siobhan has had! Thank you again!

As I approached the Bristol Hippodrome on Saturday evening I did so with a real mix of emotions coursing through me. Expectation is often better than realisation, but I have seen this touring presentation of "Cabaret" in 8 different cities over the last year, so I am well aware that, in this case, expectations have always been fully realised.

But this is the final show of a 15 month long tour and I have had so much pleasure from it that I can't help feeling a real tinge of sadness that the final curtain is soon to fall.

Every member of the cast of this great show has been really good, they are seasoned and highly talented professionals who have spared no effort in entertaining audiences all over the country. So I can imagine that when Siobhan Dillon took over the role of Sally Bowles in September she would have done so with trepidation. After all she was relatively inexperienced and this demanding role has been played over many years by a string of the world's most highly talented performers. Comparisons are inevitable and she had little time to rehearse so full marks to Bill Kenwright for backing his confidence that Siobhan could step up and take on this high profile role. A lot of people would have felt that Sally Bowles was a bit of a stretch for a girl who seemed more like Julie Andrews when she narrowly failed to get the part of Maria in the Sound Of Music. I was very disappointed when she didn't win, I thought she was the outstanding contestant and she certainly got my vote.

I first saw Siobhan play Sally Bowles at New Brighton and with her new short dark hair for the role she was quite transformed and she got right into the saucy irresponsible pleasure-seeker that is the teenage English 1930's vamp, Miss Sally Bowles. She performed with a gusto and confidence that was most realistic and her singing was tremendous. I did think there were some areas of performance which needed practice and polishing but I was delighted with the way she had taken on the role. By the time I saw her in Derby she had built up her performance really well and the cast got standing ovations that night. I have commented previously about Siobhan's brilliant performance at Wimbledon where I thought she absolutely nailed this very difficult and demanding role. She did it again in York and here we are,sadly, at the final show.

The Hippodrome is a large 3 tier old theatre and it was pleasing to see that a big audience had assembled for the show. Right from the start they were warm and enthusiastic and their applause was swift and loud for all the cast.

Wayne Sleep has played Emcee with great success at various times over the years and tonight he is pulling out all his many stops and delighting the audience with witty asides and gestures, great entertainment. Every cast member seemed to be giving it their all and the entire performance from them was just brilliant. I have to give special mention to Jenny Logan as Fraulein Schneider and Matt Zimmerman as Herr Schultz, their sincerity, warmth and skill was only matched by the great partnership they have built up in this show,true professional.

And so to Siobhan Dillon in her last performance as Sally Bowles. She acted and sang her heart out and gave everything in a truly memorable performance. Cabaret and Maybe This Time have never been performed better and her audience responded with huge rounds of applause which were richly deserved. There was such passion and emotion from Siobhan and she has a talent and ability that is usually only seen in mature performers, she is quite exceptional for one so young. Her future is surely a bright one indeed.

At the end the audience gave the cast a number of standing ovations before Wayne Sleep made an excellent spoken response on behalf of the cast. By this time the cast, including Siobhan, were in tears and it was a moment and a scenario I will never forget. I felt exhausted too and I was only watching, thank you to them all for a wonderful tour finale.

Oh, and by the way, Expectation became Acclamation on this superb night.

No comments: