I am sure that fans of Samantha Barks (pictured) are rejoicing at the recent announcement that she is to be cast as Sally Bowles in Bill Kenwright’s touring version of the Kander and Ebb classic, Cabaret. It will no doubt inspire many more contestants to line up ready to audition for the next search for a star reality tv show.
But, at 17, is Barks too young to take on the role immortalised by Liza Minnelli but also played by, among them; Molly Ringwald, Teri Hatcher, Brooke Shields, Amy Nuttall, Anna Maxwell Martin, Gina Gershon and of course Judi Dench? It’s not just her age that bothers me, it’s the lack of experience.
I, like any other theatregoer appreciate that a ‘star’ name will attract crowds. In this case, the producers have shrewdly thought that Samantha will attract a younger crowd who would not normally see Cabaret and I can see their logic. But surely Nuttall, Kim Metcalfe or another older actress who has lived a bit more woud have been more appropriate.
Rufus Norris‘ recent version of Cabaret was not my favourite show, but it did attempt to do something different with the show, whether it be via the nudity or the racier staging. But I now cannot help think that the touring version will resemble a family-friendly Joseph style piece, with a young protagonist who will look like she is playing ‘dress-up’, as opposed to getting under the skin of one of musical theatre’s most flawed heroines.
What you you think?
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