Operatic Swansong; Weekend London THE GUIDE TO THE BEST ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

The Evening Standard (London, England), May 20, 2005 | Go to article overview

Operatic Swansong; Weekend London THE GUIDE TO THE BEST ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT


Weekend London - THE GUIDE TO THE BEST ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT The Beijing Opera Company are a genuinely exotic spectacle; their performances are part pageant, part pantomime, with stereotypes rather than characters, stylised acting, high-pitched voices, and baffling melodies - to those used to Western tonality. But despite being alien, they are also strangely candid. Their mammoth piece, Legend of the White Swan, a strange tale of love and loyalty, features fleet-footed singers and fine-voiced tumblers pulling off whizz-bang flag waving and knock-'em-out fighting. Blunt comedy, exaggerated mime, and highly decorative costumes contribute to a wonderful, otherwordly feel.

Sarah Frater

0870 737 7737

THEATRE

The Alchemist

Tonight, Saturday 7.30pm, Sunday 5pm, Pleasance Theatre, Carpenters Mews, N7.

[pounds sterling]15, [pounds sterling]12.50 concs. Tube: Caledonian Road Dominic Knutton's production of Paulo Coelho's multimillion-selling fable The Alchemist is an utter delight.

Five versatile actors bring this parable about following your dreams to richly realised life using only four multipurpose blocks, some billowing silk drapes and a couple of musical instruments. …

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