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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

Bleak house: The Moor @ORLTheatre

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The scene is set for a moody mystery when you enter the Old Red Lion Theatre to see The Moor. It’s a lmost as if you can feel the peat bog as you take your seat.  A girl is bent over a chair as you enter the theatre. Is she crying? Has there been a crime? Bronagh (Jill McAusland) and her boyfriend Graeme (Oliver Britten) go out for a party across the moor. The next day they discover a man they met that night is missing.  From the outset you understand that Bronagh is terrified of her possessive and abusive partner. But she is also grieving over the recent death of her mother, and suffering post-natal depression.  Did a man disappear and did her boyfriend have anything to do with it? McAusland is engaging as the trapped and confused Bronagh.  Amongst all her dreams and mad stories about elves, is something sinister really at play? As her account of events becomes confused and contradictory, you’re not sure if she saw or took part in a potential crime.  Unfortunately attempts to get to t