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Arts > Fair, occasionally poor

29 May 2014 | by Robert Thicknesse

Fair, occasionally poor

Opera

 
Così fan tutteEnglish national opera, london coliseum Greeted at the door by fairground barkers, you understand this staging of Mozart’s 1790 opera isn’t going to be a searing social critique. But a likeable production by Phelim McDermott’s theatre company Improbable at least reminds us that Così is a comedy – rather obscured lately in a welter of earnestness; modern opera tends to obsess on traumas that robust ­eighteenth-century types would simply have got over.The chosen set-up is 1950s Coney Island, and McDermott wheels on a somewhat tangential circus freak show, handy for shifting the furniture between swallowing swords and whatnot. There aren’t too many other ideas, so it’s nice to have something to look at; no doubt this was bo




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