The Beggar's Opera
Norwich School at the Maddermarket Theatre
Anyone arriving at the Norwich School annual senior play expecting John Gay's 1728 classic concoction of 69 street songs, parodies and arias would be surprised.
The story is still peopled by thieves, whores, beggars, jailers and low-life, but has a keener political edge.
Even those thinking former Czech president Vaclav Havel's 1970s' play is a direct descendant of Brech's Threepenny Opera, with its haunting Mack The Knife song, would also be surprised.
The noose hanging over the central Macheath (Justin Beardsell) is less threatening than expected. However none of the surprises is a bad experience. The programme note by director Michael James tells us that everyone except the pickpocket lies.
Even criminal business has to co-operate with the police - traffic with the enemy - its an added irony as we remember the communist repression under which Havel wrote.
The central theme is the same as the original, characters covering their backs, but with more twists.
- 1 Broads Authority moves to prosecute pub over caravans - again
- 2 Part of A47 closed in both directions after crash
- 3 See inside this idyllic family home up for sale with NO nearby neighbours
- 4 EXCLUSIVE: The faces behind City's prospective US investment
- 5 Former coastal restaurant up for auction
- 6 Man claims supermarket fuel was contaminated as he reveals £200 repair bill
- 7 Thousands expected to attend huge four-day steam extravaganza
- 8 M&S to close 32 stores as part of move away from town centres
- 9 Motorcylist in 50s in hospital with serious injuries after tyre shop crash
- 10 Multiple fire crews tackle farm blaze overnight
Slimy Bill Lockitt (Fraser Mashiter) summed up his power - “they serve best who know not that they serve”.
George Crowley and Oscar Merry played the gangsters as modern lads and Sam Hinton was strong as Peachum. The girls added powerful performances, particularly Katy Astley as the enthusiastic brothel madam.
The only disappointment was the lack of a full house.