Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Paris Part One - Pop'pea

I've just come back from a few days in Paris, so thought I would do a couple of blog posts.
Our first evening was spent at the theatre. How grand!

It was by lucky coincidence that one of our favourite musicians, Carl Barat (the Libertines, Dirty Pretty Things and now a solo artist) was starring in a modernised version of Monteverdi's opera "L'incoronazione di Poppea" retitled "Pop'pea" as it is now a pop/rock/opera combo. It happened to be school half term that week and  we were able to get tickets for the last night, 7th June. 
Theatre du Chatelet has massive glass doors and a huge foyer, but inside the auditorium it's a lovely old gold and red velvet traditional theatre.

Theatre du Chatelet
 Our seats were in the Amphitheatre - the highest you can go, but apart from the railings which were at my eye level we had a good view.

Rebecca & Jimmy

Gary & me

I really enjoyed the play. It had an eclectic mix of music played by a live band and sung by the actors (rock, opera, ballad, hip hop) telling the story of Nero's infatuation with Poppea. There is passion, betrayal, murder plots, bribery, fire, cake, love and more murder as the tale unfolds! 
The costumes were great, the sets were minimalist BUT used some interesting multimedia effects. It's quite difficult to describe the use of blue screen and on-stage props as they were at times a bit bizarre - for example Nero (Carl Barat) was amongst some giant cakes and Ottone (Benjamin Biolay) in one scene is sitting on a dinner table and either he's become tiny or the table is huge! I have a drama student daughter and I thought it was perhaps Brechtian in the way the props (eg wires to move a motorcycle and the rider's scarf) were operated on stage with  no pretence. My daughter thought the multimedia was a bit over-used like a child with a new toy!
When in one scene Carl as Nero plays guitar it did make me miss seeing him play his own music though (it's been over a year since we saw him at the 100 Club and Koko)!
It's too late for you to go and see it, but fingers crossed it may be released on dvd. Have a look at the Pop'pea blog for photos and video clips of the show.

I'll be back with a blog post featuring various Parisian lamp posts and Metro signs in the next couple of days. I'm off to drink some coffee and make some Paris inspired jewellery now...


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