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You can’t stop the boats: Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea @ParkTheatre

Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea by Italian playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi and translated by Marco Young, has made a topical return to London at the Park Theatre after playing earlier this summer at the Seven Dials Playhouse. In a week when leaders and leaders in waiting were talking about illegal immigration, it seemed like a topical choice . It also has one hell of an evocative title. The piece opens with Adriano Celantano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol , which sets the scene for what we are about to see. After all, a song about communication barriers seems perfect for a play about people trafficking and illegal immigration. One side doesn’t understand why they happen, and the other still comes regardless of the latest government announcement / slogan .  However, the twist here is that the crossing is undertaken the other way. People are fleeing Europe instead of escaping war or poverty in Africa or the Middle East. It’s set sometime in the not-too-distant future. There is a crisis causing p

Concert: Deborah Voigt

Messing about on the river aside, Saturday night provided the opportunity to see Deborah Voigt in recital at the Barbican. It was the first time she had performed in London since being dumped from a Royal Opera production for being too fat to fit into the costumes. She acknowledged during an encore that she was a little bit nervous about coming back. The audience broke into applause at this point. All seemed forgiven on both sides.

Well perhaps London hasn't forgiven her entirely since the Barbican Hall wasn't exactly full. But her absence and the lack of a full house is London's loss. Now a few years later she has slimmed down (thanks to much publicised surgery) and sounding great. Tonight's concert was a marvelous programme with songs by Mozart, Verdi and Strauss in the first half and then American composers Beach and Bernstein in the second. This gave her the opportunity to cut loose a bit. For an encore she even tackled Berlin's "I Love a Piano" before sitting down with her accompanist Brian Zeger to help belt out the melody. It bought the house down.

It's great to see one of the leading dramatic sopranos show a bit of their own personality in recitals... She will be appearing at the Royal Opera House next season. Here's hoping we can see her in concert again soon too... The concert was something everyone in the hall wanted to hear again...

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