Any night could be their last performance. Danger, disease and betrayal surround the Jewish musicians, singers, dancers, acrobats, opera and theatre performers thrown together and trapped in the Ghettos of WWII. But their fear is transformed into art as they try to create meaning out of the terror and chaos around them.

Written by Galit Klas, and featuring Yiddish songs composed in the ghettos that have remained unheard for decades, The Ghetto Cabaret reveals the black humour, courage and wit of a people fighting to survive. Presented by fortyfivedownstairs in association with the Kadimah Yiddish Theatre, audiences are challenged to re-think the widely held narrative of Jews in WWII as helpless victims, and instead, to see them as spiritual fighters using theatre to inspire resistance, resilience and dignity in the worst of times.

Following the success of 33 Variations earlier this year, and an acclaimed production of Angels in America at fortyfivedownstairs in 2017, Director Gary Abrahams re-teams with his 33 Variations collaboratorsDann Barber (set and costume design) and Rachel Burke (lighting design), along with Music Director Scott Griffiths, to bring this vivid world to life. Abrahams directs a stellar cast including Evelyn Krape (Malthouse Theatre’s Hello, Goodbye and Happy Birthday, Best Actress winner at this years Tropfest for Can You Hear Me?), Jim Daly (Bottomless and Café Scheherazade at fortyfivedownstaits, Rake on ABC) and Dimity Shepherd (recent Green Room Award winner for Melbourne Operas Otello).

Created by third generation survivors, The Ghetto Cabaret tells a daring story and re-writes the narrative of the Holocaust as a story for everyone and every time – the unifying force of art in times of oppression and division. 

August 1 – 18