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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

Theatre: Betty Blue Eyes

Finally caught Betty Blue Eyes at the Novello over the past weekend. It is an excellent looking production with a great cast and star performance by a pig that gets wheeled about with what looks like a very long extension cord. The music is fine too. But watching this show is almost as unsatisfying as post-war rations.

What should be a very cracking musical comedy gets bogged down with subplots and misplaced sentimentality. And when the farce finally gets going it is quickly jetissoned as if fun can't be had at the theatre. The central message at the end (and a very English one at that) seems to be by conniving with the corrupt townsfolk you can enter into society...

Perhaps if part of the creative team that managed to suck the life out of Mary Poppins (and drag it out for three tedious hours to boot) could trot off and come back with a shorter funnier version of this show down the line... All the ingredients are there for a smashing show... There is just a bit of swill there too...

Still it is worth a look as it has to be one of the better new musicals to come around these days. Good seats are available from the usual discount venues... There may not have been fare shares for all in post-war austere Britain, but cheap tickets to the theatre have to be the next best thing...? The Novello is one of the better theatres too with its comfy seats and mildly glamourous refurbishment...

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