I love John Gay's "Beggar's Opera", it is a funny, sad, cutting and clever comment on the society of the time, corruption and greed and has some great music, mostly derived from old folk tunes. Brecht's "Threppeny Opera" is also a delight and many years ago I was in Ayckbourn's "A Chorus of Disapproval" so I was really looking forward to seeing what Kneehigh had done with this fabulously dark tale.
What a tuly remarkable evening of theatre this is. Carl Grose's gloriously gothic script combine with Charles Hazlewood's music and Michael Vale's design to produce a world populated by the vile and the cruel. With Mr Punch as Lord of Misrule, we are taken into a world of corruption, murder, revenge and treachery that holds a mirror, albeit one from an extreme Hall of Mirrors, up to society. This land is well on the way to hell, but the devil is dead so all bets are off and all rules can be broken.
Puppetry, music and comedy all help bring this world to life on a fanulous set beautifully lit. A brilliant cast work really hard to deliver believable, watchable characters and beautifuly theatrical scenes directed to perfection by Mike Shepherd. Rina Fatina's Mrs Peachum and Giles King's Lockit are excellent but this is an ensemble cast with no weak links - Patrycja Kujawska's acting is pin sharp, her violin work truly remarkable!
I laughed, cried and felt so lucky to see this production. The final song, mid-bow, brought the hairs up on the back of my neck. A genuinely remarkable show.