With On the Rocks just around the corner, we’ve been hearing from the festival’s organisers to get the lowdown on some of the many arts-related highlights that we can look forward to over the next couple of weeks. Here, Taryn O’Connor tells us what we can expect from her production of Cabaret, the classic musical that has dazzled audiences for nearly half a century.

1. So I guess the first question is why Cabaret?

Christopher Isherwood wrote The Berlin Stories, which Cabaret is based off of, and in a BBC interview about the book he said, “I wanted to write a book about all kids of people who are rejected by society as being somehow scandalous or improper.” It has held true, in my experience, that the performing arts are a safe place for people of all shapes, colours, sizes, and sexual preferences – applauding differences, and highlighting those with a specific and unique view of the world. Cabaret is a groundbreaking concept musical that shows the unique realities of starkly different characters as they all try to do something very brave and very real – find a genuine way to express love and connect to others in a chaotic post-war society that’s slowly trying to stifle and shame the wonderfully unique differences we all have.

2. Do you think that the message still rings true today?

There isn’t so much a message in Cabaret as there is a commentary on the human condition. We think that Cabaret is absolutely as relevant now as it was when it premiered in the 60s because actions will always have consequences, and society will always want to understand why things happen – how people fall in love, why it doesn’t work out – and more importantly, how people affect each other so permanently. Cabaret is a warning bell that presents its characters with important choices, and demonstrates that choosing to do nothing is still a choice that can leave an impact on the world.

3. Which routine is the cast most excited to perform?

We see Sally Bowles for the first time during the song ‘Don’t Tell Mama’, and all the girls have a lot of fun with the number, but personally the kick line that starts off Act 2 is what I’m excited for people to see.

Cabaret is taking place in Venue 1 at 7pm on 9, 10, 11 April. Tickets are £9.

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