As someone not overly well versed with the comings and goings of the Kardashian family, We sent Andrew Riley to 53Two to see the culture clash between reality TV and opera…
I will admit to not knowing a great deal about reality TV, but I do enjoy a good opera, so was pleased to find this on the Greater Manchester fringe.
Written by Leoe & Hyde – a northern musical-duo who live and work together in central Manchester, Leoe Mercer and Stephen Hyde have really got an underground fringe hit on their hands if the audience reaction is to be believed.
Based around Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro”, this show brings together the queen of reality TV during her 72 day marriage to basketball star Kris Humphries, a married couple who fall out over wanting to watch reality TV or opera and the central figures in the Mozart opera.
All three couples occupy the small stage at 53two at various times, and although there were some initial sound problems, once they were cleared up and we could hear the cast over the wonderful string quartet Echo Chamber, the fun really began.
Anyone who has ever argued over the remote control will sympathise with both Stephen and Amelia. In the end, we get a TV rota, then two TV’s, a break up or three, and all accompanied by a wonderfully eclectic mix of live music.
Every single player on the stage is possessed of a superb voice, and although there is very little in the way of dialogue, it is the blending of the voices that really marks this as such a complete piece of work.
It would be all too easy for a voice to become “lost” in the mix, but initial problems aside, in this production, it really works.
Overall, this is a very polished production, in one of the more unusual spaces in the city centre, it being a former Bauer Millett showroom.
Its the subtle things, like Stephen switching the subtitles on for the opera and the move from the original into English that marks out just how well crafted this work is, and why it deserves to go from fringe to mainstream.
The production heads north to Edinburgh for August, and is at Greater Manchester Fringe as part of a two month UK wide tour.
Overall, I’d give it a 7 out of 10 rating, and look forward to seeing more of Leoe&Hyde productions in the coming years.