|The Magic Flute Offers Fun and Frivolity at Riverside|
Mirren Postlethwaite loves every minute of a very merry opera
The regular reviewer of operatic productions was not available and I, an operatic novice with little or no experience other than the odd Gilbert and Sullivan event, was wheeled in to fill the gap with an ingenue’s verdict on the Riverside’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, played by The Merry Opera Company at their very merriest.
Well, all your correspondent can say is "go along and see it". Loved every minute. Just fantastic. Fun and frivolity delivered in the most professional way by a cast who really look like they are enjoying themselves throughout.
This Magic Flute is translated, adapted and directed by Kit Hesketh-Harvey, best known as half of Kit & The Widow, who uses the modest Riverside studio stage in the most economical way imaginable to give the audience a miniature five piece orchestra led in style by musical director Stephen Hose and an infinitely adaptable remaining space for the cast to play out the drama of a dying Mozart in 1791, writing the opera against a background of threatening freemasonry.
Without giving away too much of the story, Mozart is trying to finish his opera knowing he is nearing the end. In his fever he becomes Tamino who may or may not be being poisoned by dark forces.
He fights his creditors, physicians and a rather large dragon as well as those dratted freemasons and finally passes through death into immortality.
Papageno, played by Dario Dugandzic stole the show for me with his his heady mixture of confidence and self doubt and his own beautiful Magic Flute.
Go before you miss it.
The Magic Flute continues at Riverside's Studio 3 until March 3. You can buy tickets online or by calling the box office on 020 8237 1111.
February 15, 2013