I went to the first show of Soup Can Theatre’s presentation of Brecht and Weill’s The Threepenny Opera at the Monarch Tavern yesterday. It was an interesting take. Three performers took all the roles in a much shortened concert version. Quite a few numbers were cut and the dialogue was replaced by a very compressed spoken linking narrative. This was a fund raiser and I think it’s fair to say that there was probably minimal if any rehearsal involved which showed in a presentation that had some nice individual touches but not a lot of cohesion.
Last night I attended Soup Can Theatre’s double bill of Barber’s A Hand of Bridge followed by Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit; an English translation by Stuart Gilbert, of his 1944 play Huis Clos. The latter is a piece I’ve seen before and read in both English and French and I would never have imagined it could be presented as it was last night. It’s a play about three people who find themselves in a room in Hell together. They will be there for eternity, an eternal triangle I suppose, for they have been especially selected to get on each others’ nerves by continually reminding each character of that aspect of their former lives that they find least admirable. I have always seen it as an incredibly bleak play as befits one that premiered in Paris in the last months of the German occupation. I would never have imagined it as a comedy; albeit a dark one, but that’s what director Sarah Thorpe gave us. Continue reading →