Ok I spent most of the weekend out of London in Cambridge where there were rowers and loads of bi-cyclists... It's that sort of town really. And only 45 minutes from London (assuming you don't get the train from Kings Cross that goes via Stevenage)...
David McVicar's oddly modern production of Rigoletto is back at the Royal Opera House . This modern and minimalist dark production has evolved over the years. It is better lit now but there is still an orgy and full frontal nudity within the first thirty minutes. This enables anyone not in the stalls an excellent view of a flaccid penis and a nicely shaved bush. But as time goes it seems more and more superfluous to the main focus of this tragedy of a court jester who seeks revenge. Here is hoping that the production continues to evolve... Conductor John Eliot Gardiner keeps the music well paced. Dimitri Platanias in the title role sounded great and received a rapturous applause for his interpretation of the role. You get a sense more of the doting father rather than the court jester or cursed man here. Vittorio Grigolo plays the Duke and sounds too lovely to be the cad the role calls for, but it is hard not to like when he is on stage anyway. And it is easier to understan
Watching The Sugar House at the Finborough Theatre reminded me of the comment made by journalist Evan Whitton that Sydney was the most corrupt city in the world. Except, of course, after Newark, New Jersey and Brisbane Queensland. But corrupt cops and underworld figures of the Sydney scene are only part of this epic family story that spans three generations of a working-class Sydney family. It's currently playing at the Finborough Theatre. The story opens with Narelle (Jessica Zerlina Leafe) looking over a new conversion property on the former site of a sugar refinery in Sydney. It was near where she grew up. She's a lawyer now and could afford to buy one of these bland modern conversions. But all she can see are memories of the place where she grew up with her mother and grandparents. What unfolds next focuses on the harsher side of the lucky country. Where jobs were precarious and poverty, poor health and crime were not too far away. The police were a force to be feared.
Iranian-Canadian musical theater actor Ramin Karimloo is known for his work in the West End, performing in The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables, as well as debuting the role of the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera sequel, Love Never Dies. Recently he finished a run playing Valjean in Les Miserables on Broadway and gained attention for not just his vocals but his physical strength. He is back in London and getting ready for a show (tonight) at the Palladium on 16 July. Later in the year he will be joining Victoria Hamilton-Barritt and Kerry Ellis in UK premiere of the off-Broadway musical Murder Ballad at the Arts Theatre. The Palladium show will be another opportunity to see Ramin and his band mix country and bluegrass with musical theatre (and vice-versa), after sellout shows at Islington’s Union Chapel in January. I sat down with Ramin shortly after his return to London. We talked about the shows, his fitness regime and how he is looking for a goo