Podcast: Why have we had three versions of The Beggar’s Opera this year?

In Audio, Features, Interviews, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Quotes by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

There’s something in the water with The Beggar’s Opera at the moment. Lazarus Theatre’s new, modern-dress, 80-minute version at Brockley Jack Studio Theatre is the third major London presentation of the story of womanising highwayman Macheath this year.

Get all social media for THE BEGGAR'S OPERA on www.stagefaves.com

Get all social media for THE BEGGAR’S OPERA & its cast on www.stagefaves.com

Dougal Irvine’s musical The Buskers Opera, set in post-Olympics London with a Boris Johnson-like mayor (premiered on the day of the mayoral election), came first in May, followed by, at the National, Simon Stephens’ new version of The Threepenny Opera, which was originally written by Bertolt Brecht to mark the 200th anniversary of The Beggar’s Opera in 1928.

Lazarus artistic director Ricky Dukes has returned to John Gay’s 1728 original satire but given it lots of new twists (spoiler alert: you’ll never have seen it end in such an electrifying manner before) as well as new lyrics and music by Bobby Locke and Chris Drohan.

So what is it about this tale of corruption and capturing the populist mood of the people on the street that so resonates – today and through the ages. And how is the piece itself so, seemingly, infinitely adaptable? For last night’s post-show Q&A, we discussed these and other issues with a panel include actor-producer Michael Peavoy, who worked with Dougal Irvine for four years on The Buskers Opera, and Lazarus Theatre dramaturg Sara Reimers and Ricky Dukes.

As a fascinating addition to The Beggar’s Opera run, on 21 November, Sara will direct the company in a rehearsed reading of Gay’s sequel to the piece Polly, taking up the story of Macheath’s erstwhile wife. Written in 1729 it was banned for 50 years by the then Prime Minister Robert Walpole following the controversy and success that surrounded The Beggar’s Opera. Listen to the unedited podcast below for more on that too. Q&A photos by Peter Jones.

The Beggar’s Opera continues at London’s Brockley Jack Studio Theatre until 3 December 2016.

 

Post-show video

Just finished fab #BeggarsOpera talk with @Michael_Peavoy #RickyDukes & @sara_reimers. Follow @LazarusTheatre for tweets, podcast live tmw pic.twitter.com/HChBWO2ih0

— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) November 15, 2016

Podcast

Q&A photos
Click to view slideshow.

Show photos

Live-tweeting

The Beggar’s Opera Q&A – Curated tweets by StageFaves

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Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs the Terri Paddock Group, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She is renowned for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.
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Terri Paddock on FacebookTerri Paddock on InstagramTerri Paddock on LinkedinTerri Paddock on TwitterTerri Paddock on Youtube
Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs the Terri Paddock Group, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She is renowned for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.

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