Albert Herring - Glyndebourne on Tour

FRANK CLIFF Norwich Theatre Royal


Norwich Theatre Royal

Glyndebourne's Touring Opera revival by James Robert Carson of Peter Hall's classic 1985 production of Albert Herring is a delight both visually and musically.

Britten's 1947 comedy, which pokes fun at the provincial life in the fictitious Suffolk village of Loxford, looks fantastic in John Gunter's design in which Carson draws characterful performances from his cast.

Miranda Keys is magnificent as Lady Billows, the pillar of Loxford society, Susan Gorton equally so as her housekeeper Pike who finds something against all those who are attempting to be the May Queen. ith the result that Albert Herring is proposed as May King.

The other side of Loxford society is equally well characterised: delightful performances from the village children Elodie Kimmel, Jennifer Sidebottom and Jack Morlen, Jared Holt and Julia Riley as Sid and Nancy the lovers who awake Albert to the fact that he might have a more exciting life, and who make the most of Britten's more erotic music. and Murray is very fine in Act II where he questions the meaning of life as a young man tied to his mother's apron strings.

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A transmogrification at the May Day ceremony assisted by a liberal libation of rum is brilliantly done as is the dark side of the comedy in the superbly sung Chaconne with Albert missing presumed mistakenly dead.

The English Touring Opera Orchestra under Rory MacDonald performed Britten's complex score brilliantly.

A wonderful evening's theatre.

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