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A little less conversation: After Sex @Arcolatheatre

According to research, millennials in rich countries are having sex less these days. But they were prepared to talk more about it. So, it is no surprise to see a story about what happens when a series of no-strings-attached encounters start to become attachments. And the conversations arising from it. Such is the premise of After Sex, Siofra Dromgoole’s two-hander of the conversations afterwards. It’s not particularly sexy or erotic, and the snappy pacing and short scenes sometimes make you wish they stayed longer to finish the conversation. Nevertheless, it is still a funny and, at times, bittersweet picture of single lives in the big city. It’s currently playing at the Arcola Theatre .  He is bi and works for her in an office job. She is neither ready for a commitment nor to let the office know what’s happening. He isn’t prepared to tell his mum there’s someone special in his life. He doesn’t speak to his dad, so his mum is his world. It’s a perfect relationship/arrangement. Or so it

Secret marriages and other rivalries: Il Matrimonio Segreto @popupoperauk

Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage) continues Pop-up Opera's tradition of semi-staging rarely seen works in unusual locations. It's playing at various sites across the country until 30 July.

This rarely-seen work is perfect for their style. It's a little bit silly. It has some great arias. And it showcases some fabulous voices from its young and energetic cast. Of course being Pop-up Opera, they add some 21st century flourishes to this  18th century opera. There are endless references to politics and on-point trends.

The story centres around two young lovers, Paolino and Carolina. They get married and tell nobody about it. Slight problem is that Paolino married one of the two daughters of the man he works for. Who just happens to be a rich Italian businessman. He's also working on marrying off the other daughter to a mad English toff... Who seems to bear some resemblance to Boris... Albeit he can sing. And doesn't waffle. But this toff fancies Carolina...

It's well sung and acted with a terrific performance by Peter Kirk as Paolino. He his unforced tenor voice was powerful yet fresh and perfectly suited for the role. Opposite him as Carolina, Chiara Vinci is a feisty soprano full of energy and wit.

In the surroundings of The Vaults at Waterloo it isn't the most magical of all the venues Pop-Up Opera will tour. But the appreciative audience were either cheering or in hysterics from the proceedings.

Directed by Max Hoehn and with Musical Direction by Berrak Dyer, Il Matrimonio Segreto travels around the country. The performers vary depending on the evening. There are future dates in and around London throughout the summer too. Don't miss it.


Production photos by Richard Lakos and rehearsal photographs by Lidia Crisafulli

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