Tonight we watched the operetta performance of Peter Grimes, which was held at the Coliseum in London. Since we had read the poem in class beforehand, I was prepared for a grim (pardon the pun) tale, and was both excited and nervous to see what they would do with the deaths of the boys.
The production was intense, with the song lyrics being projected on the teleprompter above the stage. The dialogue was mostly sung, which meant that majority of the verbal expression was recitative. The actor playing Peter Grimes was phenomenal, and he definitely deserved his tears of happiness at the end of the performance.
The play was both faithful to the text and a creative interpretation, but one aspect that weirded me out was the two ‘nieces’ (aka prostitutes) of ‘Auntie’ (the brothel owner). They were dressed in schoolgirl clothes for majority of the performance, changing into military uniforms (navy girl, soldier girl) only as costumes during their time with men. Their innocent acting – holding each others hands, clutching dolls to their chests, skipping onstage – just made the juxtaposition of their occupation and their character more interesting.