Many visitors to Berlin come for the history, the club scene and the world class art galleries and museums. However there are also those who bring with them a fascination for the glamour of a bygone era and the seductive allure of cabaret. The cabaret scene today in Berlin is of course not the same as that of the 1930’s, but there are still quite a few good shows to be found for the dedicated fans.
One that is easy to find and a pleasure to be a guest at is ‘A Cabaret Story – Berlin’s Live Historical Revue‘, held at a venue that could not be more perfect – the 1920’s inspired Sally Bowles Cafe & Bar – in the heart of Schöneberg. Cabaret aficionados will know that the area around Nollendorfplatz in Berlin is where all the action happened (and still does for many!). English novelist Christopher Isherwood immortalised the area in his book ‘Goodbye to Berlin’ and the award winning theatrical and cinema productions of ‘Cabaret’ with the lead character of Sally Bowles, were inspired by his work. More about the history of the area including details of a self guided historical walk around the area are a bonus feature of the show’s website.
‘A Cabaret Story’ is one of the few shows performed in English and offers not only some of the greatest hits of the era but a thoroughly entertaining stroll through the history of the genre. The show is written and directed by Maurice Ord, who also stars alongside Mirjam Beierle and Anne Wagret in the production. The three have a great chemistry as well as incredible talent.
The performance skilfully navigates its way from the birth of cabaret in Paris to its emergence in Germany, first in Munich and then to its heyday in Berlin. The story, told through simple costumes, music and an informative narration manages to capture the difficult and painful issues of the time from war to sexuality, socialism to displacement. Anti war anthems such as ‘Raus Mit Der Männern Aus Dem Reichstag’ are blended with cabaret classics – ‘Lola’, ‘Illusions’ and ‘Le Chat Noir’ to name a few, along with some original music written by Maurice and Mirjam for the show.
Sally Bowles Cafe & Bar is open from 4pm and light bar snacks and drinks are available before the show. In October a new menu will be introduced offering caviar and oysters to accompany the fine champagnes on offer at the bar. ‘A Cabaret Story’ plays every Thursday at 8pm and the show runs for approximately 90 minutes with a 15 minute interval. Tickets are €18 including a complimentary glass of Sekt. Reservations can be made online and are essential. Sally Bowles is at Eisenacher Strasse 2, just around the corner from Nollendorfplatz Ubahn station (U1/12), but it can also easily be reached on foot from the hotel.