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Shortland Street’s Amanda Billing takes a break from her character, Sarah Potts, this month, instead assuming the racy role of Sally Bowles, in the Auckland Theatre Company’s Cabaret.
Directed by Michael Hurst, and starring alongside Sia Trokenheim (Shortland Street), Colleen Davis, Paul Barrett and Mike Edward, the show welcomes audiences to the provocative and sexy world of Cabaret at the Salon Perdu Spiegeltent.
“I was really excited by this opportunity,” says Billing. “We’ve got a fantastic team of people working on the production, who have all been very supportive of one another, so we’ve been having a lot of fun.”
Set in Berlin in 1930, the show follows a young American writer, Cliff Bradshaw, who arrives in a city caught in the gathering storm of Nazism. At the giddy, glitzy and garish Kit Kat Klub he falls for irrepressible English chanteuse Sally Bowles. She’s partying like there’s no tomorrow and she leads him into an underworld of divine decadence and dark prophecy.
“I’ve really enjoyed playing Sally Bowles, because she’s very different from Sarah Potts. In fact, she’s more like Shorty Street’s Alice Piper or Nicole Miller, ‘here for a good time, not a long time’,” says Billing. “Though she’s clever, charming and funny, she’s also narcissistic, ignorant and self-destructive. I think you either love her or loathe her.”
In this adults only show, Billing says it took a while to get her head around the nature of her performance.
“I didn’t know what had hit me in the first two weeks of rehearsals! I’m not exactly a prude, but I found myself warning friends and family, simply because I felt blown away by just how dark, sexy and dangerous it all felt,” says Billing. “But I’ve jumped in now, boots and all!”