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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

Perma-austerity: Killymuck and Box Clever @bunkertheatreuk

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The Bunker is currently presenting a double bill of what life is like for women in Britain with less opportunity. The two monologues chart growing up in different eras of inequality. But both are gripping as they mix anger, evocative storytelling and humour in equal measure. They're terrific pieces of writing with strong performances. First up is Killymuck, written by Kat Woods. Niamh (Aoife Lennon) is living on a housing estate that was the site of a paupers graveyard in 1970s Northern Ireland. Locals think the estate is cursed. But there are plenty of real-life causes to her problems. Her mum is surviving on benefits. Her dad suffers from alcoholism. Teachers at school are only too keen to discriminate, even if she is clever. And violence is never far away. There's salvation with the occasional babysitting job. Particularly with the neighbour when she's out turning tricks as she pays better than anyone. Lennon conveys the passion, anger and humour of Wood'