Grimeborn’s “in-progress sharing” of Penelope: Seven Ways to Wait provides 40 minutes of intriguing and accomplished musicality, loosely themed around the concept of waiting, with the classical heroine Penelope (long-suffering, long waiting wife of Odysseus) at its emotional helm.
‘Fails to connect’: DIE WALKÜRE – Hackney Empire
I have never known Die Walküre fail to connect before, particularly in the hands of a talented team. Let’s hope this cycle gets right back on track as they progress towards a future Siegfried.
NEWS: Arcola Theatre announces 20th anniversary season
London’s Arcola Theatre has announced its 2020 season, a special, year-long programme to celebrate the theatre’s 20th anniversary featuring familiar faces from the venue’s first two decades alongside exciting newcomers.
‘Unearthing something of great promise’: HOTSPUR & PIERROT LUNAIRE – Arcola Theatre ★★★
The double bill of Gillian Whitehead’s Hotspur with Schoenberg’s great Modernist Pierrot Lunaire is the first outing for innovative opera company formidAbility, which seeks to bring disabled and non-disabled professional artists together on (and off) the opera stage.
‘Swap your immortal apple-growing sister for a ticket’: DAS RHEINGOLD – Arcola Theatre ★★★★★
The Ring Cycle is opera’s biggest box set: a sixteen-hour binge of dwarves, nymphs, dragons, gods, heroes and monsters, all suspended inside one of the greatest philosophical conundrums expressed by the human mind – and set to glorious, extraordinary music.
‘Feels remarkably outdated’: VIOLETTA – Arcola Theatre
Violetta is a reduction of Verdi’s La traviata, using only three characters: the doomed courtesan Violetta, her idealistic yet immature lover Alfredo, and – surprise! Alfredo’s mother.
‘As raw, angry & daring as ever on its 30th anniversary’: GREEK – Arcola Theatre ★★★★★
Like the roar of an older, bolder London, Mark-Anthony Turnage’s GREEK bounces snarling onto the Grimeborn stage, celebrating its thirtieth anniversary in the first ever revival of its world premiere production for Munich and ENO, directed both then and now by Jonathan Moore.
‘Seriously impressive, given its flaws’: THE PROMETHEUS REVOLUTION – ★★
Prometheus stole fire from the gods in order to ensure human progress, and met with a grisly eternal punishment as a reward: Zeus’ eagle devouring his liver daily. Keith Burstein’s new opera The Prometheus Revolution attempts to engage with this Greek myth through a story of modern-day capitalism and revolt.
‘Disarming, surprising & brilliant’: THE BOATSWAIN’S MATE – Arcola Theatre
The celebrations of the centenary of Women’s Suffrage in Britain have reached Dalston’s cultural heartland as Spectra Ensemble presents a little-known opera by Suffragette composer Ethel Smyth, The Boatswain’s Mate, at Grimeborn.
Beyond #EdFringe: London can compete for festival city title in August too
This year, perhaps more than ever before, it seems to me that London theatre in August is out to out-Edinburgh Edinburgh, even in terms of laying claim to being the city of festivals.
ARMIDE – Arcola Theatre
If you fancy being entertained like a French king, head to Grimeborn for Lully’s Armide.
DIARY OF ONE WHO DISAPPEARED – Arcola Theatre
The poems which inspired the mysterious song cycle Diary of One Who Disappeared first appeared anonymously published in a newspaper in May 1916. They immediately caught the eye of composer Leos Janáček, who completed this song cycle by 1920.