OK, Cabaret is a musical and film, rather that a book, so I’m approaching this book review rather tangentially. It’s just that Claire took me to see Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club in London last week. Cabaret is, of course, based on the book Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s just leapfrogged up my list. I’ve read the programme, will that do for now?

The Kit Kat Club is a magnificently refurbished theatre that used to be The Playhouse. I can only assume that it is dedicated entirely to Cabaret, because every brick, every light bulb, every speck of paint oozes Cabaret, and the original Kit Kat Club of the Weimar Berlin.

From the moment you have your ticket scanned at the door, you enter a different world. You enter Cabaret. It’s a little like walking through a maze to start with. You turn a corner and there are musicians in costume (rather alluring!) on violin and piano, playing appropriate tunes. You’re offered a free glass of schnapps, and then move on towards a bar. The music is in full swing and young ladies and men are dancing on the bar. When you can tear yourself away you move on to the auditorium. We were in the upper circle, or upper dress circle, I can’t remember which. The view was still excellent. At stage level the audience were seated at tables getting table service, as if they were in the original Berlin club. I guess they paid a lot more than us.

They show was staggeringly good. When the Ernst Ludwig character took off his coat I think the whole audience stopped breathing in unison. I shan’t tell you why. I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you. The rendition of What Would You Do, is another immensely emotional and thought provoking point. In my experience theatre programmes are usually overpriced. If you collect them, fine. The programme from this show is expensive, but not overpriced. It’s a great read. It apparently comes from the Old Picard meaning little room. Apparently if you google ‘Old Picard’ you get lots of photos of Patrick Stewart in make up to age him. I’ll get around to reviewing Goodbye to Berlin as soon as I can. If you’ve read it why not post your review to Readers Club? Click the share a book button.