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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

Flying away: My Dad's Gap Year @ParkTheatre

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Sometimes you just have to throw in the towel and fly out to Thailand. To hell with the consequences. At first. So is the premise In My Dad's Gap Year. But while some of the plot points might be as suspicious as the sexual antics on stage, there's a lot of heart and great performances in this piece. Written by Tom Wright, it's having its world premiere at Park Theatre . Dave (Adam Lannon) is having a mid-life crisis. And he drinks too much. His wife Cath (Michelle Collins) has left him and is uptight teenage gay son, William (Alex Britt) is trying to enter the world of work. So what better way to get over it all by heading off to Thailand? Beside's it's supposed to be William's gap year. So why can't dad join in? Along the way Dave falls for Mae (Victoria Gigante), who runs the bar at the beach. And there's a sexy lifesaver Matias (Max Percy) who is about to open William's eyes to a whole new world. What at first seems to be a wild funny h

Kosher cougars: A Dark Night in Dalston @ParkTheatre

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No matter what your religious or cultural background, all you need is a warm hearted older woman to perk you up. And chewable painkillers. And tea in a paper cup. These are all important in A Dark Night in Dalston which is currently playing at Park Theatre . In the piece Council estate resident Gina brings in a young devout Jewish man lying outside her flat for a plaster and hot cup of tea. Some of the lads on the estate roughed him up after he was visiting the local slapper.  It wasn't so much as anti-Semitism as robust local banter. Anyway while she is tending to his cuts and bruises and offering him tea the sun sets. And so he can't go home as it's the sabbath.  He doesn't want to face his father and he doesn't want to face his fiancee. Gina is an ex-nurse and full-time carer. But what care does young Gideon need? What draws him to Dalston in the first place since he comes from Stanmore? Couldn't he find what he was after in Kilburn?