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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: La Fille Du Regiment

The production of La Fille Du Regiment at the Royal Opera is in its first revival, and Thursday night's performance included Colin Lee in the role of Tonio, which earlier in the run was filled by Juan Diego Flórez. Having seen Juan in a passable but hardly thrilling recital at the Barbican earlier in the month, I was happy to miss him in the opera. The audience were thrilled after his performance of "Ah mes amis" with its nine successive high Cs and Lee himself looked awfully pleased as the audience cheered and applauded... The same applied after singing the tender declaration of love in his Act 2 aria, ‘Pour me rapprocher de Marie’. It was all great stuff...

Laurent Pelly’s production, first staged in 2007 is a lot of fun and the performance by Natalie Dessay as the tomboy daughter of the regiment, who falls in love with Tonio gives the show its heart. The rest of the cast round out this great opéra comique (a slightly silly one)... There are two more performances next week (also with Colin Lee) and definitely worth catching... And if you miss it, there is always the DVD...

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