Look out, Old Macky’s Back!!
Rating: 5 stars
Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of seeing Threepenny Opera being screened live from the National Theatre to Cinema’s around the country. At first glance you would say this performance was a musical but is in fact a play with music.
The story is set in 1920s and is about serial killer Mackheath (Rory Kinnear) who marries Polly Peachum (Rosalie Craig) the daughter of gang leaders Mr and Mrs Peachum (Nick Holder and Haydn Gwynne), they are not best pleased when they find out about Mackheath has married their daughter and plot revenge on him. Meanwhile Mackheath decides to run away when he’s finds out that the police are after him for his serial killings. Mackheath gets captured at the end of act one and is sentenced to be hanged. In background of act one, we have the king who is visiting the east end as part of his coronation. At the start of the act two Lucy Brown (Debbie Kurup) Mackheaths lover and daughter of Mackheaths army friend Chief Inspector ‘Tiger’ Brown (Peter De Jersey) helps Mackheath escape from prison. Only for him to be caught again by Tiger Brown who is now also seeking revenge on Mackheath for having sex with his daughter. Mack tries many plans to escape but to no avail. He is to be hanged but because this is play with morals, the king pardons Mackheath and knights him.
The set is designed by Vicki Mortimer, who uses very simple set designs for the story. With wooden panels with paper stretched over them so that the characters can just bust into the scene. I like the use of a long staircase for Mackheath to walk up to when he is about to be hanged.
Each of the actors brings such a huge presence to the stage and each makes the characters believable. Their singing is not to be ignored, as I was surprised by Rory Kinnear singing ability. Each actor has a very distinctive singing voice, which brings their characters to life. I loved the music and orchestration, as I found myself getting the songs stuck in my head.
I like the choreography by Imogen Knight, the fight scenes were amazing and it had a bit of ‘Laurel and Hardy’ madness to it.
The director Rufus Norris, has really outdone himself with his production. As even though it is set in the 1920s, it seems to echo the society and social classing which we live in now.
I would defiantly recommend that you go and see this production. It is a show that is not to be missed. If you want to escape from the world of reality, then this is the show for you.
Threepenny Opera is running at the National Theatre until the 1st October, for tickets visit their website https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/threepenny-opera