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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

Living pretty: Nightfall @_Bridgetheatre

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Living in the country never looked better than in the sumptuous production of Nightfall. This play about life in rural Hampshire is currently playing at the Bridge Theatre . Desginer Rae Smith has created a farm backdrop that is beauty to behold even before any of the actors speak. Which is just as well since the night I saw it the show was delayed as one of the actors was caught in a very urban predicament: delays on the London transport network. Chis Davey’s lighting also evokes the sunsets over Hampshire. But looks are deceiving as nobody wants to be there. Dad’s dead and left a pile of debt. The son, Ryan (Sion Daniel Young) is trying to make the farm work by siphoning off oil from a pipeline that cuts through the property. His best mate Pete (Ukweli Roach) is out of and jail helping him with his criminal enterprise.  The daughter, Lou (Ophelia Lovibond) is drifting in and out of jobs and a relationship. And mum (Claire Skinner) would rather just lounge about, barefoot, drinking a