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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

Opera: Aida and For You

The weekend before last turned out to be a bit of an opera fest. I went with Patrick on Saturday night to see Aida at the ENO as he liked a bit of grand spectacle on a Saturday night. That Saturday was so cold and wet I had not dared venture out all day so going to see this rather brightly coloured production of the show certainly felt like a sensible antidote to such a grey day... This production was first staged last year and while the directorial choices are not to everyone's taste I thought it was interesting enough... It runs until later this month... I am trying to get Patrick to write an opera blog as he has far more witty lines about Opera productions than I do as I suspect he has seen every opera staged in London over the last twenty or so years... He has only just got an MP3 player though so the blogging concept might be a bit too new media for him right now but we can only hope as opera writing needs some laughs...

Anyway not content with just Aida on Saturday, on Sunday I found myself at the Lindbury Studio at the Royal Opera House watching the new opera For You by Michael Berkeley and Ian McEwan with some boys from the chorus. Patrick warned me the night before that the opera was a bit like an episode of Midsomer Murders without the trashy ITV commercials... And with a mostly difficult score by Berkeley...

Still, anyone that can get high notes from "general anaesthetic!" in the libretto certainly can do a few tricks... And the scene of the big soprano humping the lead and then putting on her knickers in full view of the stalls (we were in the circle) certainly left an impression on me... The other guys with me had trouble staying awake watching this show as they didn't care for the characters, the plot, the libretto or the music. But on the whole I didn't mind it. If only the surtitles could be seen from the upper level... Next time I will bring my opera glasses...

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