Review: Cake

by | May 1, 2023 | In other news

Cake: The Marie Antoinette PLAYlist

Norwich Theatre Playhouse

Picture the scene: late 18th Century Paris and it’s before the beginning of the French Revolution. Marie Antoinette isn’t well liked and she gets herself wrapped up in a crime to defraud the crown jewellers, her reputation, the monarchy and France itself is at stake.

Well, let’s flip our perspective on this point in history and get down to the nitty gritty – this story of how the French Revolution started is from the angle of Jeanne, who lives among the real people of Paris who are poor and struggling and she’s had enough. Jeanne doesn’t like Marie Antoinette and comes up with a five-point plan to break the system.

While going through her plan, Jeanne and Marie Antoinette become friends! So where do loyalties lie?

It’s a musical but not a classic full-on musical theatre style, this is gritty, the score is diverse, and the ensemble are not all cheesy smiles and pretty dancing. This is a contemporary, modern and very fresh ‘musical’ which is edgy and intriguing.

The storyline is good enough to keep us all interested however the style of songs are fun, clever and provide a total mix of genres from pop to hip hop to rap to beautiful ballads – the range is delicious.

This mix of great songs had the dancing to match. The group work was fluid, unusual, clever, ultra-modern, and brilliant along with the solo work from all the performers. The set was basic, barely anything, just some short stools, a circular moving platform and some additional microphones – this kept the focus in the right spaces. As an audience we were not distracted by any fancy set designs (only Marie’s costume) which allowed the story telling to be highlighted – a far better focus in my opinion as it felt more real especially as Jeanne was narrating parts of the story between the action, well, even during the action.

All the cast were brilliant, whatever they did, individually they shone and together they were a fantastic team telling a historical story in a very modern way. The format was different and it worked for me, in fact I felt the show got better and better and they managed to pack in a lot into seventy minutes


  • Zizi Strallen as Marie Antoinette
  • Renée Lamb as Jeanne
  • B Terry as Nicole
  • Travis Ross as Cardinal
  • Ope Sowande & Megan Bryony Gibbs as the ensemble
  • Lukas Hunt and Amie Hibbert as swings.
Listings at Norwich Theatre Playhouse


  • Hayley Clapperton

    Hayley is a business co-owner working too many hours so it's a good job she's passionate about it. Hayley's down time is music, music and music of all types and she enjoys going to gigs, listening to new bands and breathing in the energy it creates.

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