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Pagliacci - King's Head Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

ON SUNDAY, October 14, 2018, Irrational Theatre is returning to the King’s Head Theatre to present Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci.

Based on a real life murder case, this thrilling and gritty opera boasts one of the greatest tenor arias of all time and a story to surpass any modern day soap opera.

A freshly adapted and accessible production, Pagliacci is described as Salvador Dali meets The Tiger Lilies with a lesbian twist.

Leoncavallo, desperate for money, jumped on the verismo band wagon and produced what has become one of the greatest operas. It was, he said, inspired by memories of childhood: “I remembered then the bloody tragedy that had gouged the memories of my distant childhood, and the poor servant murdered before my eyes”

Pagliacci boasts a wonderful score and a good story, a famous tenor aria and the beautiful bell song. You might be interested to learn that a venti-trè ore is not 11pm, but the 23rd hour after the bells for evening prayer the previous day, so around sunset, and hence the reason for a bell chorus.

As audiences follow the lives of a troupe of strolling actors, real life crosses into the imaginary until their jealousies, obsession and illicit passions mirror the evening’s performance with tragic effect….

Pagliacci is performed by principals: Katy Bingham Best, Randy Nichol, Alejandro Lopez-Montoya, João Valido Vaz and Samantha Green plus small chorus.

The production is directed and designed by Paula Chitty, with musical direction by Peter Jones and lighting by Bob Grover. Pianist is Gergely Kaposi.

Pagliacci is suitable for ages 10+.

Tickets: £19, £16 concession – available by calling 020 7226 8561 or visiting www.kingsheadtheatre.com/.

Times: 4pm and 7pm.

Running Time: 1 hour 15 minutes hours. No interval.