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Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

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At the start of the Opera Locos performance, the announcement says that they really are singing. You could be forgiven for wondering that, given the amplification turns up the backing track and the voices so loud that you can't always tell what's real. But this is a mostly harmless and slightly eccentric blend of opera classics fused with the occasional pop classic. However, recognising the pop tunes would help if you were over a certain age. The most recent of them dates back twenty years. It's currently playing at the Peacock Theatre .  Five performers play out a variety of archetype opera characters. There's the worn-out tenor (Jesús Álvarez), the macho baritone (Enrique Sánchez-Ramos), the eccentric counter-tenor (Michaël Kone), the dreamy soprano (María Rey-Joly) and the wild mezzo-soprano (Mayca Teba). Since my singing days, I haven't recognised these types of performers. However, once, I recall a conductor saying he wanted no mezzo-sopranos singing with the s

I know what you did last summer: Last Orders @ORLTheatre


The Old Red Lion Theatre during the summer months is hot and oppressive at the best of times. But theatre troupe The Knock Knock Club decided to hold a seance and a ghost hunt at the venue to see if there was any truth the number of hauntings that people have reported.

There's been a pub on the site of the Old Red Lion since 1415. Over the years, there's been reported sightings of spirits of the non-alcoholic kind.  There are enough witness accounts of a ghost on every floor of the venue. There's the ghost who likes the drama (but not lost Arthur Miller plays) on the theatre floor. There's the ghost at the bar level that wants to fling glassware and frighted the resident dog. And below the bar at cellar level, there's something like the gateway to the underworld that freaks everyone out.

The show is part documentary about what the troupe did over the summer and part unearthing bizarre facts about the Old Red Lion. It's funny and intriguing as the team uncover some fascinating facts about the lawlessness and famous people who frequented this Islington pub over the years.

The theatre space has creepy red writing scrawled on the walls. But even when the lights go out, you're never particularly alarmed about what is about to happen. Which is too bad. I was hoping something would drop into the audience laps from above or something would go bang to give us a fright. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. If there are ghosts (real or invented) in the Old Red Lion, they were staying away from the theatre that night.

Whether that will be the same for the rest of the run, you will have to find out.

Last Orders runs at the Old Red Lion Theatre pub as part of the London Horror Festival until October 26.



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