Seen at the King's Head Theatre, North London.
The folks at Charles Court Opera have been entertaining audiences with their pantomimes for a number of years now and they usually seem to find the perfect balance between story-telling, musical performance and double-entendres. This year’s offering at the King’s Head in Islington is an updated rendition of Beowulf; I’m not convinced that the journey into the world of panto was an entirely successful one.
The staging is fine although too much of the production is flat on and in shadow. The cast of five works hard but ultimately their efforts left me feeling a little underwhelmed. There are, without doubt, some good performances (notably Jennie Jacobs as Grendel’s Mother) but, for me, the balance between story-telling and the musical numbers is off. For an epic tale, the book is a little thin and for a company with opera in its title, the singing is as well.
Perhaps I had high hopes based on previous CCO productions and perhaps it’s still early in the run for the rapport with the audience to land fully but I left feeling that Beowulf misses the mark.