Updated: Jul 25
Giving us another 200 odd shows to enjoy for those who can afford it (or another 200 chances to enter the Cabaret theatre ticket lottery and lose for those who can't), Cabaret at the Playhouse Theatre extends its run to January 2023.
The musical, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, has extended its run at the Playhouse Theatre in London to January 2023. WhatsOnStage reports that 30,000 seats have been released. The musical is a Broadway and West End hit and has been seen by more than one million people worldwide. If you haven't seen it yet, the extended run gives you another 6 months in which to save up, or to try your luck at winning the theatre ticket lottery.
But Cabaret is expensive to watch
The Playhouse Theatre's Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club is one of the most expensive shows you can go to in London, with a table for two costing as much as £300. The bee has never seen the production participate in any sale or discount events, so a trip for two to watch Cabaret can cost as much as a small budget vacation! But depending on how you view musicals and the genres you like, watching Cabaret in London might just be the experience of a lifetime.
Is there a way to get cheap theatre tickets to Cabaret? Why yes, the Cabaret lottery!
The bee's guide to the Cabaret lottery tells you all you need to know about the lottery, based on the bee's own experience of winning a pair of seats worth £300 for just £25 per person (£50 for two) (after trying the lottery for six months relentlessly) and watching the play from one of the best seats in the house. Absolutely worth it.
The bee is not particularly adept at human math, but it estimates that we will have another 200 odd performances to watch in London (and more if the show extends again), or another 200 occasions to enter the theatre ticket lottery. Based on the bee's experience of winning both Cabaret and other lotteries in London, the bee thinks there is a high ex ante probability that you will win at least once if you try every day.
To be sure, the bee cannot afford the face value of a Cabaret ticket, so this post is not to motivate you to shell out hundreds of pounds on this musical or to clean out your bank account. But if Cabaret sounds like the kind of musical you might be interested to watch, the lottery does give you a reasonable chance of getting cheap tickets.
Don't get disheartened if you lose. Sally Bowles lost a lot of times and that made for some great songs.
As the lyrics of the beloved song Maybe This Time go,
He will hold me fast I'll be home at last Not a loser anymore Like the last time And the time before.
Is it worthwhile to spend so much on tickets to Cabaret?
You may want to check out the bee's (three star) review of Cabaret at Playhouse Theatre written from the standpoint of a Cabaret newbie. The bee finds that most critic reviews are by reviewers who have seen other productions of Cabaret or have already been exposed to the story of Cabaret in some form or the other, because there have been so many. First there was Christopher Isherwood's original novel titled Goodbye to Berlin. Then, there was John Van Druten's Broadway play titled I Am A Camera in the 1950s. Then, there was Joe Masteroff's 1966 Broadway musical called Cabaret. Then, there was the 1970s movie titled Cabaret and featuring Liza Minelli. While the 1970s movie was a rather loose adaptation of the original, the 1993 Sam Mendes revival featuring Alan Cumming is closer to Druten and Isherwood's works. There have been several other smaller scale productions.
Your experience of Cabaret the musical can be very different if you go in with a tabula rasa, like the bee did. Although the musical grew on the bee later (the bee has since watched both the Sam Mendes 1993 revival and the Liza Minelli movie from the 70s), the bee's immediate reaction after coming out of the Playhouse Theatre that evening was not exceptionally awed or overwhelmed. It took a while for the musical to grow on the bee, and for the bee to understand the various undertones and overtones that are difficult to piece together while watching live for a complete newbie. Had the bee paid a hundred quid to attend this show, the bee would have been quite disappointed.
But now that the bee has experienced the story in more ways than one, it is better placed to watch another performance, pick up nuances of character, appreciate the subtle ways in which the changing political environment influences the characters, and of course enjoy the beloved music and lyrics. If the bee were to watch Cabaret again, it would rate the show higher than its original three star review.
Cabaret win seven Olivier Awards in 2022
And if you believe in critic's choices and awards, then that's another reason to go and watch this musical. Cabaret won all the biggies at the Olivier Awards for musicals:
Best actor in a musical (Eddie Redmayne for playing the Emcee)
Best actress in a musical (Jessie Buckley for Sally Bowles)
Best supporting actor in a musical (Elliot Levey for Herr Schultz)
Best supporting actress in a musical (Liza Sadovy for Fraulein Schneider)
Best director of a musical (Rebecca Frecknall)
Best revival of a musical
Best sound design in a musical (Nick Lidster)
Wow, that's a lot of wins! The current cast is different from the above, though not any less talented. Fra Fee and Amy Lennox star as the emcee and Sally Bowles respectively. The cast also features Vivien Parry as Fraulein Schneider, Omar Baroud as Cliff Bradshaw and Richard Katz as Herr Schultz. If not the music or lyrics or story, the cast by themselves make a compelling reason to watch Cabaret. If you need convincing, check out the Official London Theatre's video of Amy Lennox performing the titular song, Cabaret, at the Olivier Awards 2022.
The Cabaret lottery seems un-winnable. I try every day and I never win.
Maybe you could draw inspiration from Sally Bowles' famous lines:
Well, all the odds are, they are in my favor Something's bound to begin It's gotta happen, happen sometime Maybe this time, I'll win
The bee feels your pain and despair. How about you lighten your mood a little with this fun 'I lost the Cabaret lottery again' mug, lovingly designed by the Theatre Bee to commemorate what felt like its umpteenth loss (until one day it suddenly won, but the bee does not forget what it felt like to receive an email from TodayTix every day at around 4 pm saying "there's always next time").
P.S.: The bee's design is also available on t-shirt, hoodies, aprons, iPhone cases, accessories and more. Thank you so much for supporting the bee's (non-profit) store.
P.P.S.: Spreadshop, i.e. the platform that hosts the bee's designs and processes all your orders, is running a free standard shipping campaign that ends today. Worldwide shipping, all free. The bee strongly recommends you take advantage of this (the bee itself took advantage of it yesterday and bought a mug (£13.5) for its bee-friend). Bee happy!