Saturday, 24 September 2016

The @NTlive Threepenny Opera in Torquay

It's a shame there weren't more of us in attendance for NTlive's broadcast of The Threepenny Opera on Thursday in Torquay because it was a fantastic filthy romp of a show. Sex, violence, cross dressing, x rated language - where were you all?!

Perhaps the Bertolt Brecht name put you off, but this Simon Stephens adaptation is easily accessible and I found it simpler to keep up with the narrative than when we saw his Caucasian Chalk Circle performed by Blackeyed Theatre back in Eastbourne. That was a good production too though. Rory Kinnear has received well-deserved acclaim for his role as Macheath, but he is surrounded by other fabulous creations and I didn't think there was a duff moment in the whole musical. I loved all three Peachams (Rosalie Craig, Haydn Gwynne, Nick Holder), the poor stabbed policeman, the bickering gang, hard-done-by Jenny, the Pastor ... pretty much everyone and I wish I had kept my printed cast list so I could name all the actors! As I expect from the National Theatre, the set and costuming were amazing and probably my only criticism would be that it was often a little too dark to see all the details of what was going on. I loved Kurt Weill's music too. It must have been a nightmare to learn as the melodies aren't at all predictable, but the whole sound is wonderfully evocative of 1920s Germany which provided a dark atmosphere to complement the blackly humorous libretto.

If this post has now tempted you to go and see The Threepenny Opera of if you just forgot it was on and are now kicking yourselves, there are a few encore screenings across the country in the next week or so. Nearish to us in south Devon, Exeter Picturehouse has it on Tuesday the 27th or The Plough in Great Torrington is tomorrow (Sunday the 25th). Further afield there are screening dates out until November and you can check your nearest here.

In the meantime, here's a short video of the show:

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