Cabaret at Shaw Fest

The story at the heart of the musical Cabaret originally came from Christopher Isherwood’s stories titled Goodbye to Berlin, a collection of diary entries and sketches published in 1939, detailing his experiences in Berlin before Hitler’s rise to power. He described his experiences in that city in a world that was both real and unreal, full of characters and lives about to be changed by the rise of the Third Reich. One story in particular seemed to capture people’s attention – the story about Sally Bowles, a fictional character Isherwood had based on a real singer. In his story, she is an aspiring actress who sang at a club called the “Lady Windermere” (after Oscar Wilde’s play) and seemed willing to do anything to make money and get rich: “I’m the type which every man imagines he wants”, she says, “until he gets me; and then he finds he doesn’t really, after all.” The story’s popularity inspired John Van Druten, who had previously written comedies like The Voice of the Turtle and I Remember Mama, to adapt it. The play, called I Am a Camera, opened in 1951 and was made into a movie of the same title in 1956, with Julie Harris as Sally.

Evening performances also available on separate dates. Please check availability on the Shaw Festival website.


Shaw Fest Theatre
10 Queen's Parade