The musicians Jake Shears and Self Esteem are to join the cast of the West End hit Cabaret. Shears, best known as the lead singer of Scissor Sisters, will play the Emcee in the musical while Self Esteem (AKA Rebecca Lucy Taylor) will make her theatrical debut as Sally Bowles.
Director Rebecca Frecknall’s intimate revival, which opened in 2021 and won seven Olivier awards, originally starred Eddie Redmayne as the Emcee and Jessie Buckley as Sally. Shears and Taylor will take over their roles from Mason Alexander Park and Maude Apatow respectively. Their first performances will take place on 25 September at the Playhouse theatre, transformed by designer Tom Scutt into the debauched Kit Kat Club of Weimar Berlin.
“I’ve never made a secret of my love of theatre and I couldn’t be more excited about getting to make my stage debut as one of the greatest leads of all time,” said Taylor. “I’ve joked for years that there is no need for a Self Esteem musical because Sally’s story covers most of the points. I am artistically and emotionally raring to take on this challenge.”
Shears said it was a “privilege and honour” to play the Emcee in John Kander and Fred Ebb’s musical and that it had been a lifelong dream of his. The Scissor Sisters singer has previously appeared in stage productions including Kinky Boots, on Broadway and in Los Angeles, and he wrote the lyrics for the musical Tammy Faye at the Almeida theatre in London in 2022. Taylor composed the music for the sexual assault drama Prima Facie, starring Jodie Comer, which was staged in London’s West End and transferred to Broadway.
Also joining the Cabaret cast are Nathan Ives-Moiba as Clifford Bradshaw, Beverley Klein as Fraulein Schneider and Teddy Kempner as Herr Schultz. Emily Benjamin will continue as the production’s alternate Sally Bowles until mid-October when Nic Myers will take over.