Life is a Cabaret ; Siobhan Dillon, one of the stars of Cabaret, the touring musical coming to the Assembly Hall, talks Nazis, Andrew Lloyd-Webber and, of course, Will Young
With popstar Will Young just a tad too busy to speak to local press, we got a few words with his Cabaret co-star Siobhan Dillon.
Tell about us about Cabaret.
Cabaret is set in Berlin during the 1930s, just before the rise of Fascism and the start of the Second World War. It's really about this decadent, underground world of The Kit Kat Club, and the lives and loves of the people who frequent it and work there.
And your character? Sally Bowles is one of those roles that everyone knows, so preparing for such a show certainly comes with a huge amount of pressure - not least that which I put on myself. She's very complex - part bohemian spirit, part show girl, and part English society girl from Chelsea! What is it about Cabaret that seems to make it appeal to even those who say they don't like musicals? I have tingles down the back of my spine thinking about how I felt the first time I saw Cabaret. I think it's probably that moment when you are laughing out loud but then realise that the undertone is something quite dark, tragic and terrible.
From the moment the curtain comes up every issue is strong, powerful and hard-hitting. Not to mention the incredible dancers and phenomenal singers who give Cabaret a real punch. You can't shy away from Cabaret, you can't deny Nazi Germany or the moment with the nudity and Berlin's dark underworld. It's intriguing and frightening.
It's pretty gritty stuff. Is it emotionally draining? It is and someone like Sally takes a lot of commitment. The show is a juxtaposition of laughing and crying, which really takes a lot out of you as an actor, you're on a roller coaster ride. The show moves very quickly and you can't hold back, everyone becomes involved. Do you know the film or have you avoided watching it? Who doesn't know the film?! It was one of those classics you can't really avoid growing up with - and obviously the performances of Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles and Joel Gray as the Emcee are etched into people's psyches. However the stage show is very different, and this production particularly is much more gritty than the film. I've not avoided watching it because they are just such different beasts.
How did you get into musical theatre? I've always loved musicals, and singing has been a big part of my life. But it was really entering How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, Andrew Lloyd Webber's TV search for a star in 2006 that forged my career. Getting Will Young on board must have been exciting. Is he good fun to work with? Will is fab and it has been a joy to work alongside him. His Emcee is one of the most interesting and fascinating creations I've seen on stage and he has a voice to die for! Cabaret is on at the Assembly Hall in Tunbridge Wells between November 12 and 16. Tickets available (priced between Pounds 24.50 and Pounds 44) from www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk or 01892 530613.
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