Simple, seductive, sensual and sad… life is a cabaret old chum. Willkommen to BuST Co’s take on this classic show now playing at the Phoenix Theatre at Deakin University. Greta Georgio (Co Director), Shane Savage (Emcee) and Rose Cavanagh (Sally Bowles) take us back to 1930’s Deutschland.
Why it is that some shows age so poorly whilst others, like a fine wine only get better with age? Cabaret has sustained immense appeal since it burst on to Broadway in the late 60’s, spawning a feature film and countless remakes and today remains one of the most popular musicals of all time. Determined to find out why I asked those in the know.
So why exactly is this show still so popular?
Shane: It has an incredibly touching story, as well as combining all of the elements of great theatre. It has a strong and powerful story, not merely focussing on World War Two, but also delves into the characters lives and shows us how affected they were by surrounding events. This is all fragmented of course by the clever satire of the Emcee and the Kit Kat Klub.
Rose: It’s that wonderful mix of razzle dazzle and the inevitable despair of World War Two.
Given that the show is a regular on the theatre scene, what will we find in Bust Co’s that makes it its own?
Greta: Each version of this show differs depending on the directors interpretation. Our version aims to remain true to the historical content of the show whilst focusing on the emotion and depth of the characters. We went with a simplistic approach visually and focused on 4 ‘s’ words for our concept – simple, seductive, sensual and of course sexual.
How have you found the creative process?
Shane: The creative process for me has been hectic to say the least. Having so many numbers definitely proved tricky to learn but that just made it all the more enjoyable. Coming away from every rehearsal feeling like I had learnt something new about myself as a performer was absolutely fantastic.
Rose: I have loved working with my fellow cast members and crew. What we have all
produced is remarkable. I especially love the simplicity of the set.
Speaking of the set…How have you gone about recreating 1930’s Germany?
Greta: We chose not to go with a naturalistic approach in recreating Germany in the 1930s, however we have taken glimpses of realistic things and put them onto the stage to evoke the era. I think our costume design and props capture the era well.
Shane you seem to have some interesting ideas with you approach to the Emcee can you tell us a little about how you interpreted and related to the character?
The Emcee is such an extremely difficult character to play. I suppose that’s why he’s considered one of the coveted ‘dream roles’ of theatre. Just about every single time the Emcee is on stage he is performing and hiding behind a mask, so my challenge with the artistic team and other cast members was to explore who the Emcee is without the facade. We developed an extremely detailed back-story and explored just about every aspect of his life so that I could really get into his skin and within the performances at the Kit Kat Klub, show a glimpse of the ‘real’ Emcee’.
I suppose I can relate to this because isn’t every day a performance? Don’t we all hide behind a mask at some point? If you’re feeling sad you put on a happy face, smile through it and do what has to get done.
Rose you have taken on such a big role for a first timer. How have you found the experience and what do you make of Sally Bowles?
Rose: Being a part of the Bust Co experience has been a wonderful introduction to the amature theatre scene. I really relate to Sally’s passion for performing and her joy for life. This musical can be dark at times so I try to make the most of those fun and exciting moments onstage. However, some of my favourite scenes are the ones where we get to see a completely different side to Sally, the sad, broken, tired side.
A directors opinion of her cast?
Greta: Our cast have worked incredibly hard to achieve our vision and we are incredibly proud of them. Rose Cavanagh has been in character from day dot and has truly become Sally Bowles. Shane Savage as the emcee has created a unique interpretation of this character focusing on evoking the darker side of the emcee which is often portrayed as uber camp and light hearted. Matt Bond as Clifford Bradshaw has captured the essence of this character and created an interesting loveable version of a character that is often very two-dimensional.
And finally performance highlights?
Rose: Singing Cabaret. It is a powerful and emotive song and a significant part of the show
Shane: ‘Sitting Pretty/Money’, the big show-stopping dance number, or listening to the male cast sing ‘Tomorrow belongs to me’ with their breathtaking harmonies. I get goose bumps every single time I hear it.
Bust Co Presents
Thursday 12th August @8pm
Friday13th August @8pm
Saturday 14th August @8pm
Sunday 15th August @2pm
Wednesday 18th August @ 8pm
Thursday 19th August @8pm
Friday 20th [email protected] 8pm
Saturday 21st August @8pm
$23 (BuST Co Members)
For bookings please call Bec on the ticket line: 0410 746 555.
More details can be found on our ‘What’s On’ page