Review: Cambridge Arts Theatre has a Figaro that is a Marriage made in Heaven
- Credit: Archant
There may be a more amusing version of The Marriage of Figaro than this one from English Touring Opera, but I haven’t seen it and don’t expect to. This ingenious English translation by Jeremy Sams rhymes and it’s cheeky. When Antonio, the gardener describes seeing a man fall out a woman’s bedroom window and he’s asked where the is man now, he sings: “I don’t know, he buggered off.”
The gardener is a cameo role but Devon Harrison turns it into a comic gem.
This is a perfect production of Mozart’s comic opera, with singing to gladden the heart and performances to make the spirits soar. Everyone acts their heart out so that you believe everything you see. When the Countess, (Nadine Benjamin) laments that her husband no longer loves her, it’s moving moment of stillness among the laughs.
This is Mozart’s farce and the plot is like a fugue. It repeats itself with a slightly different twist each time. Whenever the plan is foiled, someone comes up with a version that might still work.
The devilish, womaniser, Count Almaviva wants to have his wicked way with his wife’s servant Susanna – on her very wedding day to Figaro, his valet. Between them, Susanna (played and sung beautifully by Rachel Redmond), Figaro and the Count’s wife Countess Rosina, try to trick the Count into an assignation that he thinks is with Susanna but is actually with someone else dressed as her. Then his cover will be blown.
You may also want to watch:
At first, the tryst will be with Cherubino, a young page to the Count who is so pretty the ladies think they can disguise him as a woman. When that falls through, after multiple plot contortions, the disguised person is the Countess herself.
Meanwhile, jealous of Cherubino, (played with immaculate comic timing by Katherine Aiken – who is a girl playing a boy who is playing a girl) the Count (a masterful and strong voiced Dawid Kimberg) has enlisted the slight young man into the army. Ross Ramgobin’s characterful Figaro tells Cherubino that the young man’s fun in life is now over – and sings while doing press ups.
- 1 St Neots man loses 7 stone and raises £500 for charity
- 2 'I think I hurt him bad mum' says Murder on the Doorstep killer
- 3 See photos of the intricate final stages of the Huntingdon Viaduct removal
- 4 Pedestrian seriously injured in Papworth bypass crash near St Ives
- 5 24 Hours in Police Custody: This is what happened to Alex Fitzpatrick
- 6 Uninsured driver caught in Ramsey speeding up to 100mph
- 7 Market demand leads to a reduction in Alconbury homes
- 8 Woman has heart attack and dies in ambulance waiting for a hospital bed
- 9 Who can get a Covid booster jab and how can I book one?
- 10 Tonight's 24 Hours in Police Custody follows brutal Cambridgeshire murder
This show is enchanting and entertaining from start to finish. Not a moment is wasted, the cast get into their costumes during the overture. If you love opera you must see it. If you think opera is not for you, this will change your mind. This marriage was made in Heaven.
At Cambridge Arts Theatre until April 21.