‘Filthy look’ at past society

Beggars Opera
Beggars Opera

For those who do not consider themselves opera-goers, the latest show by Northampton’s Masque Theatre may be right up their street.

John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, written in 1728, is both a satire on fashionable London’s obsession with Italian opera and an attack on the corruption that seeped into every corner of society at that time.

Instead of the grand music and themes typical of classical opera in that era, it uses familiar tunes of the day and the characters of the criminal underworld.

A spokesman for the show said: “Having more in common with Blackadder than Madame Butterfly, this funny, filthy romp through the corrupt world of the debtors’ prison is a love story at heart.

“Featuring the infamous lover Captain Macheath (aka Mac the Knife) and a chorus of ardent admirers, who will he choose?”

The show features a cast of 31 in full 18th century costume, with live music from harpsichord and bass.

The show will be performed at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Sheep Street, Northampton, this week, up to and including Saturday, May 18. Tickets cost £8 or £7 for concessions/students. Buy tickets online at www.masquetheatre.co.uk, email tickets@masquetheatre.co.uk or call 07586 288793.