Cabaret Reviews


Cabaret Critics' Reviews

Cabaret London

Critics' Verdict: ★★★★★

“Masterpiece of musical theatre”

“A glorious ode to escapism”


“It's unforgettable”

"An evening of flamboyance, menace and magnetism"

“Kill-for-a-ticket theatrical triumph”


“A terrifying production”

Cabaret Review | What The Critics Think

“Wow. Rebecca Frecknall’s new revival of Kander and Ebb’s musical set in interwar Berlin is a stunning, breathlessly exciting theatrical happening. It feels loyal to the 1966 original yet astonishingly contemporary, and properly immersive. The Playhouse Theatre has been reconfigured by the designer Tom Scutt as the Kit Kat Club circa 1929, with pre-show performances in the bars and food and drink served at tables surrounding a circular, central stage. By the looks of it, the hugely expensive, three-course menu package isn’t worth it. The show emphatically is."


— Nick Curtis, Evening Standard

"It’s a lot. There’s the Hollywood superstar off doing his own thing. There’s the radical redesign of the theatre, and the bells and whistles that come with that. There’s the costumes and overtly queer aesthetic – the desire to adopt some of the characteristics of a safe LGBTQ+ space. And then the actual, brilliant, chilling story of ‘Cabaret’, superbly realised, with a performance from Jessie Buckley that deserves to win awards. Frecknall’s show doesn’t need all of this to work, and in places less could have been more. But fundamentally, it’s a great production of ‘Cabaret’ that’s good enough to triumph over the myriad distractions it throws in its own path.”


— Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

“This revival of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s 1966 musical might as well come with its own distinctive Kit Kat Club drumroll: one of the hottest – and more expensive – tickets of the year, its high concept staging extends across the venue, turning the foyers and the facade into the Weimar-era Berlin cabaret club in which its drama is set."


— Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

"Scutt's costumes are a riot of soft colour and texture, and Julia Cheng's extraordinarily detailed choreography creates a tawdry, sexualised world, where everyone gets to express themselves and no-one is quite what they seem. By the close of a devastating night in the theatre, that image has been replaced with beige uniformity and straight lines of movement. The Nazis rise to power, documented in Joe Masteroff's book in which the Emcee becomes a symbol of the soul of Germany, is shown not through familiar images of black and red – though one swastika armband does make a shocking impression – but by colour literally seeping out of the world."


— Sarah Crompton, WhatsOnStage

"Every decision [Frecknall] makes here has clear, clever purpose. This Cabaret isn’t a radical reinterpretation, but its differences from previous productions plant themselves subtly at first, then ripple outward until they overwhelm."


— Tim Bano, The Stage

"The Kit Kat Club is the ultimate escape. After a difficult or even ordinary day, the fanfare, glitz, and glamour feel like a portal to another time, where you'll be greeted with complimentary schnapps, dancing chorus members, and a lascivious pre-show smorgasbord."


— Suzy Evans, London Theatre

"Julia Cheng’s choreography has to work within a very small circle, but there are plenty of felicitous touches (a Kit-Kat girl with her hand down her knickers as she thrills to the reading of “Mein Kampf”, the stylized beating-up sequence). Meticulously detailed, with a good eye for symmetries dark and light, and holding a fine balance between then and now – a cast with various gender identifications has, she says, brought its own experiences to bear - Frecknall’s production will surely repay several visits. Believe me, this is an experience well up to the standards of the very best you’d pay a lot for at Glyndebourne or the Royal Opera. So sell or tell your mama, papa, uncle, aunt, brother or sister to see it.”


— David Nice, The Arts Desk

“Cabaret’s beauty comes from implications and insinuations, undertones and overtones, rather than what is stated explicitly. Beautiful, although it can go too far – sometimes you must force yourself to see how the emcee's facial expressions, gesticulations and lyrics are a narrative about an evolving society."


Theatre Bee

Cabaret Review: Our Verdict

Cabaret West End

Here is what our reviewer had to say about West End's Cabaret:

Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome to the seediest, spookiest, strangest show in town. Descend down, down, down into the red-lit bowels of the KitKat Club – don’t miss the free shot of schnapps on your way in – and up, up, up into the magnificent Gold Bar, where corseted dancers writhe above the top-shelf liquor. Inside the Playhouse, transformed from top to bottom by Tom Scutt, 1920s opulence meets the grit and sleaze of Berlin nightlife: ushers proffer champagne to tables, musicians warm up the crowd with jazz solos, and a hundred lamps pierce the smoky haze. When the tasseled chandeliers rise into the rafters, settle in and lose yourself in the dark magic of Cabaret.