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Offenbach gets an appropriately disrespectful update from impressionist and recent Strictly Come Dancing competitor Rory Bremner.

He relocates the satirical 1858 operetta from Napoleon III’s Paris to the present day to mock the celebrity life style of the rich, famous and politically powerful.  His Eurydice is a brazen WAG, married to a wealthy violinist whose star - and financial fortunes - are on the wane. In an unashamedly ludicrous plot, god of Hades Pluto (in the guise of a personal trainer) tricks her into joining him in hell and reluctant spouse Orpheus (who’s actually very glad to be rid of her) is persuaded by the character of Public Opinion (kitted out in a tabloid newsprint suit) to claim her back and save his reputation.

Simon Holdsworth’s clever set then whisks us to a swanky champagne bar where the gods are hanging out and hung-over and looking for a bit of excitement. Cue a trip to Hades where Brendan Collins’ adulterous Jupiter turns into a fly in fetish gear.

There’s nothing subtle about this co-production between Scottish Opera and Northern Ireland Opera, and some of the dialogue is woefully unfunny. But the lyrics are often witty and, with little more to accompany them than a single piano, an enthusiastic cast certainly makes opera both accessible and fun, with Daire Halpin’s flush-faced, fox-hunting Diana and Ross McInroy’s gross, disgraced banker particularly impressive.

Young Vic, The Cut, SE1 8LZ
Tube Southwark / Waterloo
Until December 10
£22.50

youngvic.org


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Orpheus in the Underworld, Young Vic Theatre - review
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