Set in Berlin on the cusp of the 1930s – a time when both the Weimar Republic and jazz era were waning, and the Nazi movement was on the rise – Cabaret revolves around the relationship between American writer Cliff Bradshaw and English cabaret performer Sally Bowles, who meet in the city’s hedonistic Kit Kat Klub. The West End revival sees Buckley step into the seductive heels of Sally Bowles, while Redmayne plays the club’s Emcee.
The production, which is due to open this autumn, is in the capable hands of director Rebecca Frecknall, who impressed the critics with her revival of Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke in 2018, and went on to direct Three Sisters, The Duchess of Malfi and Nine Lessons and Carols – all at the Almeida. Designer Tom Scutt is in charge of recreating the heady atmosphere of the Kit Kat Klub.
Joining Buckley and Redmayne in the cast is musical theatre star Anna-Jane Casey as Fraulein Kost, Omari Douglas (It's a Sin, Constellations) as Cliff Bradshaw and Elliot Levey (Three Sisters) as Herr Schultz.
Adapted from Christopher Isherwood’s 1939 novel Goodbye to Berlin, Cabaret features a book by Joe Masteroff, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. It opened on Broadway to critical acclaim in 1966 – winning eight Tony awards – before coming to the West End in 1968, with Judi Dench in the role of Sally. A hit film adaptation followed in 1972, with Liza Minnelli immortalising the central cabaret star.
Hit songs including Money, Willkommen and the eponymous Cabaret have ensured the musical has remained a firm favourite in the canon ever since.
The revival marks Redmayne’s first West End role in 10 years. The Fantastic Beasts star was last seen on the London stage in the role of Richard II, in Michael Grandage’s 2011 production at the Donmar Warehouse.
Buckley, who first caught the public’s attention in 2008 when she came second in the BBC’s Andrew Lloyd Webber-backed talent show I'd Do Anything, has recently notched up a number of high-profile screen performances, including in Wild Rose and Charlie Kaufman’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things. The Irish actress recently returned to the London stage, starring in the National Theatre via Sky Arts’ production of Romeo and Juliet, opposite Josh O’Connor
Of reviving Cabaret, director Rebecca Frecknall said: ‘It’s such a privilege to have the opportunity to direct Cabaret, a show that has always been dear to my heart. It’s thrilling to be able to approach this classic and important musical at a time when its themes and atmosphere feel so contemporary and resonant.’
Cabaret opens in the West End in November 2021
|What||Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley in Cabaret, The Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre|
|Where||Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5DE | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
15 Nov 21 – 16 Apr 22, Performances at 19:30pm with additional 2pm matinees
|Website||Click here for more information and to book|