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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: Parsifal

Wednesday night was an opportunity to catch the ENO's Parsifal. This 1999 co-production with San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera, Chicago and is purportedly the last time it will be staged. There are seven more performances to go.

Directed by Nikolaus Lehnhoff, What makes the opera a standout is the brilliant staging and imaginative English translation. This translation transforms this production and keeps things moving at such a pace you won't realise you have been there for over four hours. On top of this there is such spectacle at times it is almost hypnotic.

A stunning cast includes John Tomlinson as Gurnemanz, Australian tenor Stuart Skelton as Parsifal and Jane Dutton as Kundry. Mark Wigglesworth conducts.

Wagner is still an acquired taste, but this probably goes some way to make this work accesible (and palatable). Leave work early and go. There are greater powers at stake.

Initial 'boo raves and reactions as follows:

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