King Arthur

20 February 2014 | by Robert Thicknesse


There can’t be many concerts in Paris that end up with an audience singalong to the words “and heigh for the honour of Old England!” – so the Belle Epoque jewel of the Athénée, a swirl of neo-Baroque gilt, crimson and sexy caryatids, made a jolly venue for fans of entente cordiale. This cute 600-seat theatre, just behind the Opéra, is rather off the mainstream radar but presents a welcoming, eclectic programme of operetta and opera ancient and modern as well as spoken theatre. It was the obvious landing-strip for this ­itinerant Dutch version of Henry Purcell’s “semi-opera” of 1691.It’s instructive sometimes to see how others view our national treasures – not that Sybrand van der Werf’s jovial production

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