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Besides the name of the theatrical form, the word can also refer to the popular 1966 stage musical and the 1972 film. See below.

The term "cabaret"

The term as used in South Africa

In South Africa the form is also referred to by the Dutch/Afrikaans name of Kabaret.

Cabaret came back into prominence as a serious political form in the 1970s, coinciding with (and possibly inspired by) the influential 1972 film, mainly driven by Afrikaans-speaking theatre practitioners and eloquently theorized by author and playwright Hennie Aucamp (), who specifically used the Afrikaans term Kabaret to distinguish this form from the more entertainment-oriented cabaret performances popular with musical performers in the mid 20th century. Gradually the satirical and political power of the form re-emerged in the country during the periosd of the so-called "[[cultural struggle" , and often shown on the festival circuit that emerged during the 1980s and grew to substantial proportions over the following two decades.

See also Cabaret in South Africa and Music Hall



Go to South African Theatre/Bibliography

Cabaret the stage musical (1966)

A musical based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1966 Broadway production became a hit and went on to numerous subsequent productions across the globe.

Almost more influential has been the 1972 film.

It is based on John Van Druten's 1951 play I Am a Camera, which in turn was adapted from the 1939 short novel Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, it focuses on nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub and revolves around the 19-year-old English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her relationship with the young American writer Cliff Bradshaw.

South African productions

1969: First produced in South African by Taubie Kushlick in April 1969.

1995: Produced by ArtsCape (Nico Theatre) , directed by Marthinus Basson, featuring Anthea Thompson as Sally Bowles, Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, Paddy Canavan, Karin van der Laag, June Wells. Opened on Saturday, August 26, 1995. Nico Theatre, Cape Town. Musical director: Trevor Harper. Choreographer: Julian Brandon. Scenic and costume designer: Michael Mitchell. Lighting designer: Malcolm Hurrell. Sound designer: Robin Shuttleworth. Assistant director: Alfred Rietmann. Production Manager: Marius Golding. Stage hands: Sidney Savage, Abdullah Douti, Moegamat Cloete, Ricardo Kinnear, Mark Messina, Chris Baatjies. CAPAB Musical Theatre in association with Nedbank.

Cast: Emcee: Charl-Johan Lingenfelder Sally Bowles: Anthea Thompson Clifford Bradshaw: Brian Heydenrych Ernest Ludwig: Chris Vorster Fraulein Schneider: Paddy Canavan Fraulein Kost: Karin van der Laag Herr Schultz: Johan Malherbe Ensemble: Robert Butler, Sue de Moyencourt, Toby Frost, Beverley Gush, Janine Holthuysen, Vivienne Marques, Didi Moses, Lindsay Redman (dance captain), Tara Robb, Russell Boast, Arno Botes, Ulric Charteris, Shaun Allan Ede, Paul Harris, Tavis Jones, Pierre Neethling, Martin Pienaar, Adrian Poulsen, David Scales, David Thomas, June Wells, Jeanne Voigt, Ian Duncan, Norman Pudney (speciality acts). Orchestra: T. Harper - piano accordian H. Radloff - piano N. Rojas - reeds E. Backhouse - trumpet V. Wilkinson - trombone S. Robinson - guitars/banjo M. Robinson - string bass S. Coltrini - drums/percussion

1996: A co-production by the Schools of Music and Dramatic Art of the University of the Witwatersrand was directed by Fred Hagemann in 1996 presented through special arrangement with DALRO.

2006: Staged by the Port Elizabeth Gilbert & Sullivan Society in 2006, directed by Robin Williams.

2011-12: Produced by KickstArt Productions, directed by Steven Stead with Samantha Peo, Sacha Halbhuber , Kate Normington, Peter Court. Set design by Greg King, costumes by Neil Stuart-Harris, choreography by Janine Bennewith and lighting by Tina le Roux. Having premiered in Durban in August 2011, it then went on tour, with a long run at the Montecasino Theatre in 2012 and finally playing at the Theatre on the Bay, Cape Town, in August 2012.

2015: Produced by Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre, directed by Matthew Wild, with Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, Claire Taylor, Daniel Buys, Mike Huff, Michele Maxwell, Shannyn Fourie, Ludwig Binge, Matthew Berry, Sven-Eric Müller, Michael Wallace, Lara Lipschitz, Jenna Robinson Child, Delray Burns, Kyle Jardine, Chloe Perling, Pulane Rampoana and Adrian Galley. The technical team included Louisa Talbot (Choreographer), Charl-Johan Lingenfelder (Musical Supervisor), Mark Malherbe (Sound Design), Daniel Galloway and Ben du Plessis (Lighting Design), Tina Driedijk (Set Design) and Penny Simpson (Costume Design).

South African adaptations and derivatives


Cabaret theatre programme, CAPAB, 1995.

Go to South African Theatre/Bibliography

The film version of Cabaret (1972)

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