Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Carl Williams the Knife

A performance of the Threepenny Opera at the Malthouse. Music fine, but the production and translation had problems.
The updating to modern Melbourne was patchy - the coronation procession, for example, stood out as a difficulty...and
the accents weren't Melbourne accents, if that was what they were trying for, but
the accents were heavy and caricatured, funny voices, which were difficult to sing in and detracted from the effects of the songs, which really need to be played much more straight, to really channel the potency of cheap music in the way it was written, and
as part of the updating,they felt they had to stir the jaded palates of today by inserting new and more terrible crimes for Mac the knife - which was a total misconception, because in the original Mac was just a cheap pimp; the song isn't reporting, its's romancing, it's PR. The true situation is covered in some detail in The Threepenny Novel, which I haven't read for years but which I would expect a translator to consult (and I can remember from it that if you're buying a pub it's a bad sign if ait brings in more during the week than during the weekend: it implies that there's building work nearby, and when it moves on the take will drop abruptly). In this production Mac is Eddie Perfect, played as a most unBrechtian star. Through he is given a less crippling accent than most of the others - but only Jenny is allowed to just sing.

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