Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci Kings Head Theatre

By | 11 June 2018

**** 4 Stars Broadwayworld

Directed /designed by Paula Chitty

Kings Head Theatre 14th October


Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci

**** 4 Stars Broadwayworld

Directed /designed by Paula Chitty

Previously performed at The Arcola Grimeborn Festival, London 30th August – 3rd September 2016

PAGLIACCI, Arcola Theatre, 31 August 2016 by Gary Naylor Sep. 1, 2016 Broadway and West End:

BWW Review: The second opera in Irrational Theatre’s double bill is the love triangle (plus one) of Pagliacci, the tale of the clown whose sexpot wife, Nedda, has turned too many heads in the travelling troupe. With echoes of Hamlet’s play within a play, the evening’s Commedia dell’arte show veers so close to real life, that Pagliaccio/Canio takes off his mask, takes matters into his own hands and tragedy on stage becomes tragedy in real life. Again, there’s just David Podd on piano for the music, but he has a chorus to work with this time and singers who appear more relaxed in letting their voices dip and soar, filling the air, thrilling us in a way unique to boutique operas, so close are we to the performers. I’ve seen upwards of 25 such productions now and the impact of classically trained singers working (at times) within touching distance remains undiminished. Samantha Green’s Nedda appears oblivious to her fate, transfixed by her lover, Silvio (a dashing Herbie Hill-Reid), and blind to the scheming of Tonia (Katy Bingham-Best in a gender flipped role), whose infatuation is met with a fatal disdain. A menacing, muscular Randy Nichol delivers his setpiece “Vesti la giubba”, as he prepares to play his part in events anchored in both fiction and reality, with some skill, but I missed the strings and this most powerful of arias felt undercooked as a result. …in Italian (supported by very clear surtitles) this is about as accessible as the art form gets and, it has to be said, only opera’s reputation for being dicult, demanding or posh stands in the way of anyone wishing to dip a toe in and try the temperature. At £20, it’s fantastic value and an introduction to a world that can give anyone who enjoys theatre many years of entertainment. Pop along and see if you don’t agree.

Original Cast for Grimeborn 2016/Cast for Kings Head 2018

Randy Nichol / Randy Nichol – Canio

Katy Bingham Best – Katy Bingham Best – Tonia

Pete Martin /Joao Valido Vaz- Peppe

Herbie Hill Reid/Alejandro Montanya Lopez – Silvio

Samantha Green/Samantha Green- Nedda

MD Peter Jones.

Pianists David Podd/ Nia Williams/ Gergely Kaposi

Lighting Bob Grover

Production/Stage Manager Kate Reynolds