Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cocteau in Brighton

Composer Ed Hughes in front of the Pavilion Theatre Brighton, scene of last night's performance of his opera Cocteau in the Underworld (with a libretto by me!).

A view of the set, with John Lloyd Davies in discussion with Liz Webb, Samantha Kerrison and Sophie Cleobury.

Another view of the set, showing the back of Ben Oliver .

We had a great night in Brighton last night, a tremendous, powerful performance from a fantastic cast: Owen Gilhooly as Cocteau, Jacqueline Varsey as Eurydice, Hannah Pedley as Princess Death, Andrew Mackenzie-Wicks as Orpheus and Richard Scott as the Loved One. Electronics were by Ben Oliver. Stage Manager was Samantha Kerrison. Sophie Cleobury and Liz Webb were respectively the Artistic Administrator and Project Manager. The Musical Director was David Angus. And the brilliant repetiteur was Lindy Tennent-Brown. The production was directed by the genius John Lloyd Davies.

Ed and I have been constantly telling ourselves we were lucky to have such a great team on board and last night it was clear just how lucky. It was an electric performance in which everything came together faultlessly - well, as faultlessly as live theatre can be! We couldn't have asked for more from everyone involved.

It was pretty much a full house and the audience was incredibly receptive: a fantastic high for me to hear the extended applause and cheers even! If only you could bottle that for the times when things aren't going so well. As it was a workshop performance - part of Brighton Festival's Platform showcase - we invited the audience to give us feedback in the bar afterwards. I only had one comment from a guy who was getting drinks at the same time as me. "Don't change it. Just do it." I don't know who he was, but it was great to hear.

Thanks to everyone at Brighton Festival, OperaGenesis, and ROHII for their help in developing the piece. We all very much hope that we will be able to take it forward to a full production next year. Fingers crossed.

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