Preview – Cabaret
David Knowles sits down with Sian Green and talks Cabaret!
David Knowles talks to Sian Green,
Sian, can you explain why you chose Cabaret?
Cabaret is such a unique musical in that, whilst it has fantastic songs and ample opportunity for spectacular dance numbers, it also has potential for incredibly intense and meaty acting, which is something that is all too often lacking in musicals in my opinion. Sally, Cliff and Emcee are some of the most challenging characters you could hope to play, in musical theatre and non-musical theatre alike.
I thought Cabaret would be the perfect show for us at Collingwood because it allows us to showcase our fantastic acting talent as well as our singing and dancing. I love the story, I love the songs, I love the fact it's honest, deep and real. It's a bloody good show.
What exactly is the format of the show?
The show is comprised of two acts and is set in Berlin in the year 1931. The actions flits between the Kit Kat Klub – a seedy cabaret club, Frau Schneider's house and Herr Schultz's fruit shop. We never venture outside although there are interluding, dreamlike sequences in which Emcee, the Master of Ceremonies breaks the fourth wall and makes comment on what is happening to the principle characters. I love a good fourth-wall-break to keep the audience on their toes so that's something else that attracted me to Cabaret.
Is there any significance to it being set in the late 20's?
The political undercurrents drive the plot entirely so the setting of pre-war Berlin is absolutely significant. Throughout the show, even in the happy, upbeat scenes, the looming presence of the inevitable war drives the mood and effects the decisions taken by the main characters. It makes for some pretty harrowing scenes. Bring tissues.
What is the favourite part of the show?
That is a very tough question indeed. There are so many different moods in the show – so many different sorts of scene that it's almost impossible to compare. I love the song 'Sitting Pretty', thanks to the wonderful choreography of the very talented Sara Neal – its a visual joy, funny and fun.
However, if I'm honest my true passion lies with acting and for that reason the acting scenes in act two is particular blow me away every time – I have been lucky enough to work with some tremendous actors and they have embodied their characters with such enthusiasm and conviction and taken direction so well that I'm still rendered speechless by some scenes even after two months of rehearsals.
Has it been difficult to direct?
Certainly not difficult. Challenging, perhaps but mainly a challenge to my powers of organisation and time keeping. It has honestly been overwhelmingly fantastic.I knew I wanted to direct the musical for over a year so I spent a lot of time planning and hoping that I'd be blessed with a good cast.
I couldn't have asked for a better cast. I'd like to think I've been quite ambitious and Grace (our producer), Sara (our choreographer) and Riley and Stephen (our musical directors) have been behind me every step of the way so I owe them a lot of thanks!
Performances: 7-10th March: 7:30pm
Venue: Collingwood College
Tickets: Adults: £6, NUS: £5.50 DST: £5