Under the glossy veneer of amazing choreography, the fulsome sound of Opera North’s orchestra and some spectacular performances, its gender politics are simply presented as they are. And presumably it’s OK because that’s what it was like then.
With the World Cup tournament currently in play, football parlance seems appropriate in describing Opera North’s Kiss Me, Kate, arriving this week for a short stay at London’s Coliseum as a show with two halves.
An impeccable five-star production from Opera North in association with Welsh National Opera. Do not be put off by the word opera this is West End musical theatre at its very, very best.
Kiss Me, Kate is full of moments, that remind you of the magic of Cole Porter’s timeless music when performed by a truly remarkable cast and orchestra. Opera North has a triumph on its hands, which will enthral audiences lucky enough to see this classy production.
Opera North’s production of Rodger and Hammerstein’s Carousel is a curious combination of drama, dance and song that on occasion both hits and misses the mark.
Meant to be a story about love, loss and redemption, this version feels more like a story about anger, resentment and possibly the glorification of domestic abuse.
Opening on a busy fairground scene, we meet the protagonists of the tale: fairground barker Billy Bigelow played by Keith Higham and millworker Julie Jordon, played by Gillene Butterfield. Among the magic of the carousel – and it really is a magical and stunningly visual set designed by Anthony Ward – Billy and Julie seemingly fall in love, losing both of their jobs in the process.