Travelling Performances

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Theatrically and operatically it’s been a travelling five days in (and out) of London. I’ve already reported on going to the Congo when Maureen and I saw A Season in the Congo on Saturday (Young Vic Theatre). I’ll be talking about the Congo in its latest incarnation at Stanfords and Waterstones in London next week for my book Dark Lands.

West Green House reflection 542
▲ The night before – Friday night – we were out at West Green House in Hartley Wintney to see The Threepenny Opera. That’s the Kurt Weil (composer), Bertolt Brecht (dramatist) opera set in London and best known for the number Mack the Knife. West Green House is a beautiful English country house, the garden is open during the summer months and at night, after the opera, it’s beautifully lit.

Belfast backdrop 542
▲  Saturday we were in the Congo and Sunday we moved to Belfast (theatrically speaking) to see the play The Boat Factory in the tiny ‘back of the pub’ theatre at the Kings Head in Islington. With minimal staging – the map of the Belfast docklands area forms the backdrop – the two actors bring the story of the Harland & Wolff shipyard alive. That’s where the Titanic was built. For Maureen – a Belfast girl – it was home territory, her primary school was just off the map and she can remember a school trip to see the Canberra launched. Highly recommended, it’s on until mid-August.

Shakespeare's Globe 542
▲ Monday it was out to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, that imaginative recreation of the old theatre, for Indian Tempest. It somewhat confusingly takes the Shakespeare version, shakes it around and presents it in Malayalam, that south Indian language, and French mixed in with the original English.

OHP 542
▲ Finally on Tuesday we walked up to Holland Park Opera to see L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love) by the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. We were transported to Italy for that one, it marks the conclusion of the OHP season.