This cabaret-style show has energy, passion and emotion in spades. It’s not a slick production; it doesn’t shine with bells and whistles, or a complex, sharply written narrative with intertwining, overarching themes and artistic devices. Some of the voices in Sex Worker’s Opera are strong, others lack diction or volume or musicality. But, this show is raw, real and exposed. This is how we should be tackling subjects that are so commonly thought of as taboo.
Scott Stroman’s composition feels heavily influenced by Bernstein, particularly West Side Story. Indeed, Fever Pitch has a number of themes that coincide with the lovers Romeo & Juliet – the devotion between Gooner (Robin Bailey) and his beloved football team, Arsenal; the battle between supporters at a derby match; the heartache and heartbreak that comes with great love stories. Highbury Opera Theatre’s latest production charts the journey that a fanatical supporter embarks upon from the moment he falls in love with this team of choice – a relationship that lasts through thick and thin to the detriment of all else.
To chop Mozart’s The Magic Flute down into two hours, with an interval; to translate it entirely into English; to set it in a modern-day nightclub style setting, are all brave moves by OperaUpClose. Glyn Maxwell’s revised libretto, Valentina Ceschi’s direction and Alex Beetschen’s orchestration down to four instrumentalists are not perfect – understandable given the mammoth undertaking. But they are bloody close and that in itself is a huge achievement.
What do you think of when you hear the words ‘Stripper’, ‘Escort’, ‘Pornstar’?
Casting for the lead roles in Highbury Opera Theatre’s Fever Pitch the Opera is announced today. The production marks 25 years since the iconic book was first published and its first musical staging.