“There was a Cabaret. And there was a Master of Ceremonies. And there was a city called Berlin, in a country called Germany. It was the end of the world.”

Cabaret is still an entertaining and well put together show.

The California Musical Theater Ensemble, featuring performers from colleges around the United States, has brought Kander and Ebb’s 1966 musical Cabaret to Edinburgh for the company’s fifth visit to the Fringe. The musical, immortalised in the film adaptation starring Liza Minnelli, focuses on the political issues that delivered Germany into the hands of the Nazis, through the medium of cabaret. It portrays the relationship between the Kit Kat Klub’s English star Sally Bowles (Tawni Bridenball) and her lover, American novelist Clifford Bradshaw (Alex Jean), along with various people also living in the rooms let by Fräulein Schneider (Alexis Germain).

Kelsey Kato opens the show as the charismatic Emcee, a role which he quickly eases into as opening number Willkommen progresses. The choreography during this number, as with all others, is well executed. Throughout, the direction is good although there’s not really enough of a sense of emotional development in the characters that would have improved the performance tenfold.

The vocalists have beautiful tones to their voices and Bridenball is a sassy yet naïve Sally Bowles. Unfortunately there are audibility issues throughout with all the female cast members and some of the male. Despite the small venue, it was often extremely difficult to hear both dialogue and vocals. However Two Ladies- performed by Kelsey Kato, Cole Wachman and Samantha Wojtaszec-was superb, with high energy levels and excellent comic timing.

Some of the acting was extremely wooden and often Cabaret seemed to have relocated from Berlin to New Jersey, such were the wandering accents. That said, Alexis Germain and Asher Ehrenberg play Fräulein Schneider and Herr Schultz with charm and left me rooting for their characters.

The simplistic set is effective and moving basic props in order to change scene works very well. Who knew chairs could be so versatile? A screen at the back of the stage that acts as a set of drawers for storage is slightly too small as I could often see actors poking around either side, although it is a clever idea.

Sadly, this was a case of the performers not being up to the standard of the direction; a real shame as the directorial decisions were fantastic. Nevertheless, Cabaret is still an entertaining and well put together show.

Reviews by Emily Dunford

Laughing Horse @ Espionage

The Best of Who's Available



C venues - C cubed

Ernest; or Much Ado About Muffins


Replaceable Things


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Cabaret is Broadway’s smash musical hit full of decadence, delight, music and merriment. With incredible music and suggestive, hard-biting scenes, Cabaret showcases California’s rising talent, in their jaw-dropping, naked ambition. The California Musical Theatre Ensemble is comprised of the hottest and most talented artists in the United States, featuring performers from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Emerson University, Elon University, New York University, as well as Los Angeles, and San Diego Universities. Cabaret marks CMTE’s fifth visit to the Fringe, in association with the Academy for the Performing Arts and Encore, based in Huntington Beach, California.

Most Popular See More

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets