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Orpheus in the Underworld at Young Vic

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
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If you've ever hummed along to the cancan, then you've heard some of Jacques Offenbach's operetta, Orpheus in the Underworld. So don't think from the name in the title that it's too highbrow for you. This version has been translated, and re-jigged from the French original, by Rory Bremner, so if the promise of the cancan wasn't enough to bring you round, the idea of what Rory might have done to it should do.

But you shouldn't let it take this much convincing, 'cause, despite the title, and the fact that the Greek gods of this and that have some of the lead roles, this show is actually a lot of fun. The basic plot follows your standard Orpheus and Eurydice route this is the story of the musical husband who journeys to hell to rescue his wife and bring her back to the mortal world - but with a twist.

Firstly Orpheus and Eurydice are no longer happily married, they're both 'playing away from home', and the only reason Orpheus decides to go and get Eury, is that it's bad for his violin teaching business if he doesn't. The interest from the Gods one of whom, in the normal telling of things, is in love with Eury and causes her death comes from their boredom at their perfectly heavenly lives. And they all head off to the underworld to get involved and watch what happens, which is how they all end up dancing the famous Galop (which is the cancan) with Bacchus, God of Wine, and having a pretty darn good party.

Offenbach's original was a satire on the Paris of his day, but Bremner, in his usual style, has updated it to reflect today's current affairs. So be prepared for some media savvy Gods and some 'modern women'.

The Scottish Opera and Northern Ireland Opera are joining forces on this one, which will go on in the 150 seater theatre, The Maria. So expect an intimate riot.
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Why? Rory and the cancan
When: 7:45pm (not 5 Dec)
Where: Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo, London SE1 8LZ
Cost: Tickets: 22.50
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