"Cabaret" will be performed at the Grand Théâtre in December 2019
Photo: Pamela Raith Photography
The Christmas 2019 holiday will be alive with a pre-war Berlin buzz when the Grand Théâtre plays host to Cabaret, the musical.
Directed by the National Theatre’s Rufus Norris, the English-language performance takes viewers into the underbelly of seedy Berlin in the Kit Kat Klub, where American writer Cliff Bradshaw falls for cabaret performer Sally Bowles. This seasonal spectacle unfolds over 12 performances, including the New Year’s Eve gala, each promising show-stopping choreography and dazzling costumes, not to mention toe-tapping classics like “Cabaret” and “Money Makes the World Go Round”.
Among his coups de coeur are Martin Crimp’s “Dealing with Clair” (November and December 2019), directed by Luxembourg’s Anne Simon (think last season’s “Stupid Fucking Bird”) and featuring seasoned Luxembourg actors Elisabet Johannisdottir, Raoul Schlechter and Jules Werner. The play examines the 1990s yuppy culture through the eyes of a young couple selling their house at the highest price possible but who encounter a succession of strange and violent events. “It’s a funny, acerbic and dark look at a community at a phenomenon that hasn’t gone away,” Leick-Burns explains, referring to the spiraling housing prices in Luxembourg.
From the other side of the Atlantic comes a new show from Told by an Idiot, imagining the undocumented friendship between Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel which developed when they travelled on a boat for New York as part of Fred Karno’s music hall troupe. In a performance told without words, “The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel” (January 2020) falls back on its acclaimed visual style, using silent film captions in English and an original piano score performed live each night.
“The Quest” (May 2020), by Cédric Eeckhout, is a timely reflection on the story of Europe, examined through the lens of Eeckhout’s own life. “Eeckhout is doing it like any good Flemish performer: his mother is cooking chips onstage and his cat is playing the keyboard,” says Leick-Burns. “The Quest” opens the theatre’s Europe focus, planned for May 2020, with other performances in French and German further exploring Europe’s story.
The theatres place a focus on Europe in a series planned for May 2020. Photo: Hubert Amiel
The theatre also welcomes a host of opera, including Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth (November 2019), in Italian, and “The Sleeping Thousand” (January 2020), in Hebrew with English surtitles. The dance lineup continues to excel with, among the highlights, a choreography based on the songs of Sting, titled “Message in a Bottle” (March 2020) by Kate Prince, and “Enter Achilles”, by Lloyd Newson of DV8 (March 2020) as part of a series examining violence.
Speaking at the launch of the new programme, Luxembourg City mayor Lydie Polfer congratulated the theatre team for its work in helping nurture the Luxembourg cultural scene, both domestically and abroad. She further explained that the proportion of ticket sales across the last season remained high at 87% across the two venues (89% at the Grand Théâtre and 78% at the Théâtre des Capucins) and that the theatres had attracted over 2,000 new viewers in the current season, which ends in June.