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The Threepenny Opera (National Theatre, London): #FreshOffTheStalls

threepenny opera

Look out Jenny Diver, Suky Tawdry, Polly Peachum, and Lucy Brown, Mack is Back in the National Theatre’s stunning new version of The Threepenny Opera.

Captain Macheath is back in old London town, and that can only mean trouble. Mr Peachum and his band of beggars are getting ready to fleece the denizens of the East End as the King’s coronation procession passes straight through it. But there’s a problem, his daughter, Polly, has only gone and married Captain Macheath aka Mack The Kinfe: the most infamous and wanted criminal in all of London. What lies will be told, libidos quenched, and betrayals committed in The Threepenny Opera?

Out of all the musicals Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill collaborated on, The Threepenny Opera is possible the most well known, mostly due to the countless jazz renditions of its opening song “The Ballad of Mack the Knife” done by myriad crooners such as Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, and even Robbie Williams. But The Threepenny Opera is far from some jaunty jazzy comedy; it’s a dark and vicious satire on modern morals and society. Adapted from John Gay’s ballad opera The Beggar’s Opera, Brecht really steeled and defined what would become an entire style of theatre, “Brechtian”, for which he used to send-up and tear apart the establishment, societal structures, and even theatre itself.

Rufus Norris directs this intense and twisted new version and translation by Simon Stephens, as part of his innaugral season as Artistic Director of Briatin’s most influential theatre. The Threepenny Opera stars National Theatre stalwarts such as Rory Kinnear as Mack the Knife, after star turns as Hamlet in Hamlet and Iago in Othello. Roasalie Craig stars as Polly Peachum after her hotly acclaimed turn in The Light Princess. They are also joined by other renowned cast members such as Nick Holder as Mr Peachum and Haydn Gwynne as Mrs Peachum.

Huge thanks to Theatre Bloggers who have worked with the National Theatre to enable myself and several other bloggers to be officially invited as press for this sensational production.

The Threepenny Opera plays at the National Theatre, London, SE1 9PX, on various dates until 1 October 2016. Tickets are £15 – £50. To book, visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.