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Showing posts with the label Georgie Staight

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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

Long term relationships: Chutney @BunkerTheatreUK

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The central message from Chutney, is that anyone you date at University is not worth staying in a long term relationship with. You get bored with your smug post-university life and soon you’ll be wanting to murder the neighbour’s cat. Or their parrot. Or a few hedgehogs. It’s currently playing at The Bunker . We’re introduced to Claire (Isabel Della-Porta) and Gregg (Will Adolphy) after something terrible has happened. They’ve just been dog-sitting for some friends and then a fox came and ripped the dogs head off. Or was it a homeless man. Or did they do it? There’s a middle class kitchen complete with John Lewis kitchen appliances. It sets the scene where boredom meets murderous thoughts and actions. It’s American Psycho meets Croydon Cat Killer. Without the moral panic. There’s plenty of gross, stomach churning dialogue. But playwright Reece Connolly has some sharp observations about the lives of millennials. Not old enough to have positions of power. Not young enough to have carefre

Personal atrocities: Into The Numbers @finborough

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Into the Numbers is a haunting exploration into the mind of writer Iris Chang and her struggle with success and demons. Written by Christopher Chen, it’s having its European premiere at the Finborough Theatre . Iris Chang wrote a best selling book about the massacre of 300,000 civilians in Nanking at the hands of Japanese soldiers. The book, The Rape of Nanking , describes in graphic detail the way in which people were brutally murdered. Including an estimated 80,000 women and young girls were raped. Seven years later, Chang would kill herself at the age of 36, leaving a suicide note that was meticulously edited and rewritten. What’s fascinating about the piece is how Chen uses fragments from her personal and professional life to explain why this happened. In doing so, he not only explores the subject matter but also gets beneath the surface of mental illness. Opening as a lecture and an interview with Chang, the piece sets the scene and recounts facts from the book. But things begins

Cattle class: Dubailand @Finborough

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There is a line in the play Dubailand about all the astronauts around the world looking down and seeing people in Dubai. The implication is they will see these masters of the universe. Labourers earning loads of money. Expats in offices making a bundle. But they will see tiny people of insignificance. That's the point of the play. Whether you're a labourer or marketer, you're all the same. You're second or third or fourth-class citizens. And don't forget it. The play by Carmen Nasr is running at The Finborough Theatre on Sundays Mondays and Tuesdays. It was first performed there as a staged reading in 2015.