Phnom Penh Players are proud to present Shanghai Cabaret that is inspired by the musical Cabaret, and is set in the decadent city of Shanghai in 1941, where the cabaret scene flourished. It’s an end of an era love story, told through drama and songs from the period. Although under Japanese control the city had an international settlement, which was liberal and autonomous, but that all came to a dramatic end after the bombing of Pearl Harbour.
The Phnom Penh Players are proud to welcome you into a world of decadence and debauchery in, Shanghai Cabaret!
The inspiration for Shanghai Cabaret came from the musical Cabaret and Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood. Set in Shanghai in 1941, against the background of Japanese occupation. This musical adaptation introduces new characters and songs from the period.
Hundreds of cabaret clubs flourished in Shanghai in the 1930’s till 1941.
The clubs proved to be a powerful sexual contact zone, a fantasy space for border and boundary crossing, allowing people of different class, occupation, national and ethnic backgrounds to experiment with, explore and expand their sexual experiences and identities both in fiction and in reality. It was also a sanctuary for refugees from Europe, as official papers were not required.
The “yellow music,” as it was labelled, played in the clubs was deemed to be associated with eroticism and sex and was denounced by Mao and the communist party of China.
The main protagonists are the MC, who introduces us to the performers of the Shangri-la club. David, a struggling English writer who is finding himself and Rosie, a carefree cabaret singer who has her head in the clouds.
Their relationship is juxtaposed with Wong and Otto, an older couple who find comfort in each other.
Various forms of business enterprises are exemplified through the characters of Zhang and Roxanne.
The characters’ journeys play out against a background of historic events that shape their lives and destinies.
The decadent world of cabaret clubs came to end when the Japanese finally occupied the international settlement in 1941. It was the end of an era.
When: March 13-14-15-16 2019
Where: Chinese House
Proceeds will go to Chhouk Sar clinic, an organisation that supports the local LGBTI community.
Shanghai Cabaret In Media
Thank you for all these beautiful articles from various publishers:
Phnom Penh post – Theatre group supporting the LGBTQI community through art
Khmer Times – Shanghai Cabaret: Theater for a cause
What’s On Phnom Penh – LIFE IS A CABARET, OLD CHUM! COME TO THE (SHANGHAI) CABARET