Coily Dart Theatre presents a brand new production for the Brighton Fringe 2021. This fully audio production tells the little known story of Helen Carte and the important contribution she made to the D’Oyly Carte Legacy.
The recorded audio production was created during the lockdown in winter 2020. All members of the cast were recorded from separate venues. For an audio performance, it obviously isn’t noticeable, unlike the online Zoom performances where continuity can be harder to maintain.
The operetta is an interesting upbeat journey explaining the important role Helen brought to the famous company. She introduced the practice of copywriting to ensure the D’Oyly Carte name collected the royalties they deserved for each performance. The worse culprits for reproducing their work without paying was America. To overcome this problem Helen organised for both opening nights to take place simultaneously. Back in late 1800s that was an incredible achievement that Helen managed to accomplish.
This production works incredibly well in audio format. The detail in the scripted dialogue takes centre stage, which had it been filmed using Zoom, the attention to the text detail might have become lost. Scenes such as Helen’s trip to America could have proved tricky to re-create under the restrictions in place at the time.
Overall this production is delightful and informative. I have learned just how important Helen Carte was to the D’Oyly Carte corporation and its lasting legacy. I would recommend to anyone who has a spare hour (just over) to tune in.