If someone had told me a song about chicken soup would sit comfortably within an opera, I would have laughed at what I assume would have been an ‘in’ joke. Turns out chicken soup is in an opera, nestled amongst songs about excess hair, true love and hidden identity.
To enjoy this show it must be perceived in the light-hearted, slapstick fashion that the script demands. Comical moments are scattered throughout, although I suspect there should have been more, with laughs lost in the mayhem that unfolds, during the King’s Head Theatre’s chaotic performance.
…performers struggle to catch their breath to complete songs.
Sebastian Grand’s piano accompaniment is enjoyable, yet rather up-tempo and performers struggle to catch their breath to complete songs. Dickon Gough establishes an eccentric Dr. Bartleby, although even this begins to feel tiresome. The portrayal of love interest Rosina (Adriana Festen) lacks substance as a character, yet shows skill by hitting impressive notes during her solos.
Therefore, leave your preconceptions at the door…
Opera virgins will find this a good introduction, whilst opera enthusiasts can expect to laugh along, but may leave feeling a little disappointed. Therefore, leave your preconceptions at the door and you will see that chicken soup really is a timeless remedy for all generic illnesses, men with moustaches can win the girl, and most importantly, money can buy you happiness. Be sure to remember that.
The Barber of Seville runs until 30th June.
Tickets stars at £15
Also at the King’s Head: La Bohème – check out our 5 Star review.