Our February Topical Talk was an absolute gem as our members were fortunate to hear Ruth Leon talk about the history of cabaret.
Ruth is a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning television producer and director of music, theatre, and arts programmes; a Visiting Professor of Drama at the University of Kingston Upon Thames, where she teaches courses on Musical Theatre, Criticism, and Cabaret. She has written/ co-written, with her husband, the late Sheridan Morley, eleven books about the theatre and music.
Her talk recounted not only the historical aspects of cabaret and where it emanated from, but we were taken on a ‘whistle stop tour’ of cabaret across the continents — from North America to the highlights of Europe. We were entertained by some wonderful film clips from Maurice Chevalier, Noel Coward, Can Can dancers at the Folies Bergère, and Marlene Dietrich amongst many others. Ruth can frequently be found at the Pheasantry in Chelsea enjoying cabaret and music, or in the stalls of London theatres, frantically scribbling her reviews.