REVIEW: Cabaret Supper with Irving Stage Company, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, Saturday.
For one night only members of Irving Stage Company, which is celebrating its 60th birthday this year, performed show-stopping tunes and sketches to a receptive audience at the 200-year-old Theatre Royal.
Following a delicious supper in the Greene Room bar, we moved to the auditorium where hosts Jess and Jeremy welcomed us to proceedings and gave a brief history of the company and the theatre.
Then it was straight into an evening of variety, opened by Sally Boulter running on stage for an engaging version of Broadway Baby, from Follies, before Simon Loughe's restrained – in a good way – performance of Bring Him Home, from Les Miserables.
Then, Miss Saigon was represented with a sweetly touching performance of Last Night of the World by Ben Child and Melissa Castiel.
The first act showcased the company's talents and a host of musicals from across the decades, including Avenue Q, Spamalot and Cats. It was closed by Julia Foulsham with a sparkling and powerful performance of Cabaret, skilfully drawing the audience into the song's narrative.
As it was also a fund-raising evening with proceeds split between Irving Stage Company and the theatre, a fun game of 'heads and tails' to win a pair of tickets for the company's November production of My Fair Lady opened the second act.
And if the the auditorium wasn't already hot enough, a darkly seductive rendition of Cell Block Tango, from Chicago, soon sent temperatures soaring.
The musicals Jekyll and Hyde, Anastasia and Company were represented in the second half, along with an entertaining performance of Victoria Wood's 'Kimberley' sketch by Melanie Child.
Soon toes were tapping and audience members singing along to Chris Haworth's On a Tree by a River, from The Mikado, before an energetic company rendition of Razzle Dazzle, again showcasing Chicago's stunning score, closed the show.
The varied programme, fast pace and talents of company members ensured this was an enjoyable evening for all lucky enough to attend, while it hopefully raised a good sum for two worthy causes.