Review: Bizet's Carmen -The King's Head Theatre, London

Bizet's Carmen 

The King's Head Theatre 

‘Freedom comes and then freedom goes 
Most of us must think that way 
But the wisest amongst us know 
That we’re in chains til judgement day’ 

Tuesday 10th April 2012: The English adaptation of Carmen by Director Rodula Gaitanou and Librettist Ben Cooper is a modern take on the popular French Opera by Bizet.

Cooper sticks to the main story of the Opera which makes it more accessible to a wider audience. 

Christina Gill & Christopher Diffey 
Set in North London, this adaptation follows a fateful evening in Carmen’s life and features; a love, a loss, a tragedy.

You arrive at the King’s Head, buy a drink or two and eagerly wait for the doors to the theatre to open. Strum. You hear a guitar and think nothing of it. Strum. Again the guitar plays but this time a voice is accompanying it. The show has begun!

Carmen, played by Christina Gill, is singing to you, the audience. She entices the men and her friends cheer her on. It takes on a Cabaret style and soon everyone is clapping and singing and being very jovial until a fight breaks out and Carmen is caught by Jose, portrayed by Christopher Diffey.

You are then ushered into the theatre (with the help of the staff) and the rest of the Opera can commence.

The piano in the corner, played by Elspeth Wilkes, draws you into the first act and it helps add to the passion and drama that is to come. Rosie Hopkins continues to play the guitar throughout creating tension at relevant points of the Opera. 

Simon Meadows & Flora McIntosh 
 All of the actors have great voices and are given the chance to showcase their talent. It would be unfair to single out any one of them for a special mention as I think they all deserve full praise.

The Opera flows well and is easy to understand (especially if you have the programme that lists the script). It is a fantastic performance and the hard work that has gone into the production clearly pays off.

I would highly recommend this Opera, even if you are not an opera fan, as it is full of emotion, drama and fantastic voices.

A top tip would be to keep an eye out for Jose in the gangway, he appears and disappears and unless you are vigilant you might just miss him.

The total running time, including a 20 minute interval, is an hour and 40 minutes

Review by Unsa Chaudri


King’s Head Theatre
115 Upper Street
N1 1QN

Tuesday 3 April to Saturday 5 May
Press Night: Tuesday 10 April at 7.15pm
Tuesday - Saturday at 7.15pm Sunday at 3.00pm

Tickets: £16.00 - £25.00

Box office: 020 7478 0160