ENO: Medea - a very good production of an ok opera. It's on Radio 3 in a few weeks, but you'll miss why people like it.
ENO: La Traviata - minimal production (the sets are some curtains) but it's one of the very best operas and well sung. There's no interval(s) - had the version I saw in Manchester last year done that, I'd have been able to stay for the very last warbles.
Battersea Arts Centre: Paper Cinema's Odyssey - two puppeteers create a live silent film from cardboard cutouts (and a bit of live drawing) while a team of three multi-talented musicians play a live soundtrack. It doesn't make many concessions to the audience - the Cyclops and the Sirens are dealt with in seconds and there's much more than usual on the son's hunt for his father, so it helped that I'd swotted up on the full plot beforehand. The result is still stunning, and I particularly like the excellent use of depth in what could have been very two dimensional.
Landor Theatre: The Road to Happiness - it's a small scale musical where one woman wants fame, another wants a good relationship, and a man wants wealth. The lyrics are very good, the book's good, and the music is ok (the same person did all three), while the performances are all good.
Tabbard Theatre: Mikado - two years ago, I liked their Ruddigore enough to see it twice (very rare for me) and was sad to have missed last year's Pirates of Penzance. I would have liked to have missed this one... Obviously the source material is wonderful, and I recognised some faces from Ruddigore, but some people have been given the wrong roles. Worse, the direction is decidedly dubious: if anyone can explain why someone from Essex is marrying the brother of the ruler of "Yapan" (the ages of the cast mean it can't be the son..) please let me know. Ditto the reason why the Mikado has what's either meant to be a black eye or single eye make up and plays it like a horror part. Overall, it's ok, but this was easily the worst of the five.
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