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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

Taking the moral high ground: Super Duper Close Up @Yardtheatre

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In Super Duper Close Up, Jess Latowicki is seven minutes early to a meeting. It’s a meeting that could give her work. I never arrive early to meetings so I figured this is a chance to find out what early arrivers do to pass the time. During this time, between taking the moral high ground for arriving early, she starts talking about her life and where it’s gone all wrong. It’s theatre we can all relate to. Funny, moving and often bizarre, it’s currently playing at The Yard Theatre. Latowicki with her robotic-like rapid fire delivery often feels like she’s a stand up comedian talking about her life. She gives phrases like “think pieces” and “scrolling” specific hand gestures so that they stick in your mind. Everything is filmed and projected. It’s like you’re trapped inside in an Instagram story or someone’s live feed on social media. At one point she moves into the audience. Then she takes someone to show her detailed beauty regime. A regime that’s described in French as it sounds more