29 March 2019
More like a West End show than a school production, the pupils at Roedean School held audiences spellbound this week when they danced, sang and acted their way through the show Cabaret, which was inspired by the Weimar Republic- era stories of Christopher Isherwood.
In a theatre mocked up to imitate a basement cabaret club in late 1920s/ early 1930s Berlin complete with lamp-lit tables, Year 9-13 girls pulled off an amazing show which managed to showcase the incredible abilities of the cast.
Eden Wolfe-Naughton, playing the role of Emcee, held the audience in her thrall from the start as she flawlessly rattled through the opening number, a devilish look on her face as she introduced the Kit Kat Club and its subversive characters. Niah Salmon, as Fraulein Schneider, brought the house down with her comical rendition of So What – how the director managed to make a teenager look so convincingly like a women in her late 50s is a mystery – while the entrance of Sally Bowles, played by Ava Dodsworth, was mesmerising, her cut glass Chelsea accent and flawless singing rendering the audience spellbound.
There were calls of ahh from the crowd as Niah and Lara Patching as Herr Schultz gently duetted It Couldn’t Please Me More but the mood took a swing from sweet to sour as Act Two cemented the underlying notion that Nazi Germany’s terrible reality was quickly closing in on the good time revellers at the club. When Eleanor Flavin’s Nazi-supporting Ernst Ludwig revealed his swastika armband for the first time, the shock value was huge.
Frivolity turned to fear as the political message of the show unfurled and the pupils showed incredible maturity in their performance.
Director and head of Roedean Performing Arts school Katy Markey said: “Cabaret is a fantastic show and we are blessed to have been able to stage it in our wonderful theatre with this phenomenally talented group of girls.”