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Showing posts with the label site specific theatre

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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

Kitchen sink dramas: Knife Edge @BigHouseTheatre

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Chicken! Chicken and chips! Chicken! Chicken and chips! Chicken! Chicken and chips! Chicken! Chicken and chips! Early on in Knife Edge, the cast bursts into chanting this. Soon there is a driving percussion backing it and it sounds like it is not just a call to eat but a way of life. And so unfolds a tale written by David Watson and directed by Maggie Norris about a girl with big dreams and more than a few issues. The piece is produced by The Big House . It is a charity that helps young people in care to fulfill their potential. Almost half of all prisoners under 21 have been in care and the charity uses drama, mentoring and support to tackle breaking this cycle. Over 12 weeks they developed the piece and the cast - most have never acted before - worked to devise the production.

Previews: Posters, pens and headphones @theotherartfair

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Non Zero One are presenting a work at The Other Art Fair from 15th – 18th October.  They will be performing  Untitled (audio with pen) which is an audio-based piece. Participants are told nothing of what they are going to do. Instead are asked when queuing for the fair whether they are curious... They are then drawn slowly in, until it is too late to turn back, having to continually question how far they want to involve themselves and being encouraged to go beyond the traditional weird stuff set for both theatre and art fairs. Hmmmm sounds like being a writer for theatre and the arts in the social media scene…

Site specific pies: Sweeney Todd @Tootingartsclub

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Tooting Arts Club's production of Sweeney Todd, staged in Harrington's Pie Shop Tooting, at least until they manage to squeeze in some extra dates. It might now be sold out, but it might be worth killing for a ticket to see The 32-seat confines of the pie shop give the piece an added dimension of claustrophobia and suspense, particularly as the cast act, sing, bleed and sweat at times inches away from your face. It is like the musical equivalent of fun fair ride. You may want to let out a yelp at times, but you are going to have a a hell of time.

Site specific aimless wandering: The Drowned Man

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Site specific theatre has never seemed more pointless and inept than in Punchdrunk's latest outing, The Drowned Man . A large, cavernous space near Paddington Station is converted into Temple Pictures Studios. You are meant to wander through the spaces and discover the unfolding dramas that are inspired by the drama Woyzeck . These dramas are mostly about people on the margins of the film industry struggling to make ends meet and where high emotions that take people to the point of insanity. It could be spooky and imaginative and a little bit of fun, but instead it is executed so casually that the end product is dreary, aimless and confused. Throughout four floors, the spaces are so large and empty, the lighting so dark that it all seems a little pointless and lacking any direction. It is all too big, too dark and too empty to be interesting.  With all the mazes and rooms with props it seems as if you have inadvertently dropped in on a fuck club on the night it is closed for

Opera: Finding Butterfly

The trend of theatre companies to take classic operas and find new perspectives on them continues with The Wedding Collective's latest production of Finding Butterfly . Produced in association with Soho Theatre, Finding Butterfly is a deconstruction and re-imagining of Puccini's Madame Butterfly set in a hospital. Rather than beautiful Japanese screens and gardens, we have Butterfly institutionalised and believing her American soldier will return while doctors and other patients know otherwise. The story of the opera is then told in flashbacks and fragments. It is quite an ingenious concept that is only let down from time to time from some over-staged dramatics and a booming clavinova accompaniment. Both tend to distract you from the sensuality and fine singing that is taking place almost in your lap... In this pared down work, the piece is at its most exciting when the performers playing Suzuki, Butterfly and Pinkerton are on stage, and this production emphasises their ro