Last night Louise and I went to the Regents Park Open Air Theatre. It was the last night of ‘Beggars Opera‘.

Dad had a pair of tickets that he passed to us. I had no idea what to expect – not overly keen on opera I wasn’t very enthused.

It wasn’t an opera in the traditional Latin sense. The venue was extremely good. Drinks prices hugely over priced (was something like £4.70 for 330ml Stella).

Well, Louise really enjoyed it. We had great seats – right in the middle of the stage about 3 rows back – and the best news of the night was that it didn’t rain!

Not a play that I’d ever go back and see again though, not hugely keen on old cockney accents, dislike shouting, and not a fan of un-needed violence. (If you’ve seen Beggar’s Opera, you’ll now realise that I don’t really fit in!)

I did however really appreciate the set design, and the mechanics. It was a production that my old Theatre teacher Nicholas Connolly (I’d love to know where he is now) would have loved. They made really good use of all parts of the stage, even with limited props and design. They also made use of the interval, by always being in character the whole way through. (EG. When they moved the set around at the interval, they didn’t have stage-hands dressed in black to lift boxes, and unbolt things. They had the actors come on stage in character!)

The second half of the film was marred by the annoying couple behind me who were talking pretty much the whole way through! (Think they had a few glasses of wine in the interval!)

However they soon stopped talking when in the last scene, eight of the cast members who all had their necks in gallows jumped and fell hanging from the neck! Extremely good effect, a shame that on 3 of the 8 members you could see the red safety harness across their shoulders.

It was nice to go out for the evening! I’d love to see a slightly more modern play there next time.

[Photo from: http://openairtheatre.org/production/thebeggarsopera]