sat 23/10/2021

London Coliseum

Hairspray, London Coliseum review - brighter and more welcome than ever

A revival of a multi-award winning musical, with a big star or two, may look like a safe choice to re-open London’s largest theatre, the Coliseum, but there was a tingle of jeopardy in the air, exemplified when the show catches you by surprise...

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Messiah highlights, English National Opera, BBC Two review – short-cut sorrow and redemption

Well, it wasn’t quite Messiah, but it was a source of joy. In ENO’s end-of-lockdown staging, BBC Two’s transmission of Handel’s resurrection song delivered a scant 54 minutes of music from the Coliseum on Easter Saturday. In contrast, two ancient...

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Mozart's Requiem, English National Opera, BBC Two review - strong and direct act of remembrance

It must have felt very strange to Mark Wigglesworth that he returned to the London Coliseum under such unanticipated circumstances. ENO’s shortest-lived but also (many of us think) best Music Director campaigned from the start for direct...

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The Marriage of Figaro, English National Opera review - energised attitudes, lower-level humanism

So Susanna and Figaro got married on Saturday, just before the entire Almaviva household and its home, the London Coliseum, went into quarantine. Let's at least celebrate the fact that these splendid singer-actors, with youth especially on the five...

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Luisa Miller, English National Opera review - Verdi in translation makes a stylish comeback

Those who booed the production team last night - there was nothing but generous cheering for singers, conductor and orchestra - might reflect that this was at least regietheater, that singular brand of not-all-bad director's opera in Germany, with...

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English National Ballet 70th Anniversary Gala, Coliseum review - a fine celebration

Just when you thought Christmas was well and truly over, along comes another box of delights. And there isn’t a disappointment in it. If it were nuts, there’d be nothing but cashews; if chocolates, there wouldn’t be a single disgusting lime-cream....

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Le Corsaire, London Coliseum review - hugely entertaining

It’s unlikely that Lord Byron would recognise much about Le Corsaire. Beyond the characters’ names and the Ottoman location, there is little trace of the 1814 bestselling verse-novel on whose fame the ballet hitched a ride. Its plot is very silly...

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Radio & Juliet/Faun/McGregor + Mugler, London Coliseum review - a fashion faux pas

A pas de deux is normally an opportunity for two dancers to express the pinnacle of their skill and the choreographer's art. In the case of McGregor + Mugler, the duet receiving its world premiere as part of a Russian-sponsored triple bill, it...

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Svetlana Zakharova, Modanse, London Coliseum review - impeccably chic but soul-less

What price a pair of seats at the ballet? If you’re talking the latest starry Russian import then, with a few perks thrown in, you might not see much change from £800. And yet the size of the first-night crowd queuing for Modanse, a double bill...

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Orphée, English National Opera review – through a screen darkly

Like almost everything that it touches these days, English National Opera’s autumn season of shows rooted in the Orpheus myth has enjoyed a fairly mixed reception. The company’s programme of visits to the Underworld concludes with another high-risk...

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The Mask of Orpheus, English National Opera review - amorphous excess

Advance publicity overstated the case for The Mask of Orpheus. "Iconic"? Only to academics and acolytes, for British audiences haven't had a chance to see a production since ENO's world premiere run in 1986. "Masterpiece"? Sitting there after the...

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Orpheus in the Underworld, English National Opera review – ENO goes to hell

Maybe some British opera houses just don’t get operetta. Without wit, lightness and snappy pace, cudgelling us with desperate relevance, the frothiest works crash to earth stone cold dead. There have been disasters elsewhere, too, though...

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