When the spotlight falls on 'the audience'

When the spotlight falls on 'the audience'

The Stalls at Cork Opera House was a hugely enjoyable early event from Cork Midsummer festival, writes Cathy Desmond.

The spotlight falls on ‘the audience’ in the third instalment of Tom Lane and Lily Akerman’s unconventional chamber opera series commissioned by and set in and around Cork Opera House.

With the two previous episodes staged in the foyer and backstage areas, the last scene in the trilogy moves into the main auditorium with an expanded cast and an extended running time of an hour. The production plays with the space to create a novel theatrical experience in which the audience real and imagined come face to face.

Lily Akerman’s witty libretto brings the cast of everyday, relatable characters into sharp focus and the singers do a good job of putting the text of Peep Show style inner monologues over clearly.

There are roles for a grumpy old man, a prevaricating opera critic, a dating couple, opera buffs and operaphobes.

The Stalls pokes fun at the opera genre itself and the common irritations that plague theatrical performances, the crinkle of a sweet wrapper, the inevitable mobile phone. A satisfying coup-de-theatre enlivens the final stages.

The real audience laughed a lot and the cough index was low, always a good sign. Tom Doyle placed behind us did a good job of marshalling the forces of musicians and 19 singers. The six-piece wind and string ensemble underpinned by Alex Petcu on marimba did justice to Lane’s colourful score.

The Stalls marks the end of Lane’s current trilogy, but the success of his hugely enjoyable productions at Cork Midsummer since 20017 will have punters hoping he returns again next year.

More on this topic

Trading Up: Three bedroom in Ballinlough, Cork €310,000Trading Up: Three bedroom in Ballinlough, Cork €310,000

Upgraded home perfect for those wishing to downsizeUpgraded home perfect for those wishing to downsize

Antiques & Fine Art: Your guide to what's onAntiques & Fine Art: Your guide to what's on

Quality period home with room available for developments at €575,000Quality period home with room available for developments at €575,000

More in this Section

Are you ready to join the tiny-house movement?Are you ready to join the tiny-house movement?

Ask an expert: How can I help my child stop wetting the bed?Ask an expert: How can I help my child stop wetting the bed?

What a difference a spray makes: 9 of the best facial mists for every skin typeWhat a difference a spray makes: 9 of the best facial mists for every skin type

9 ways to keep kids entertained and active this summer9 ways to keep kids entertained and active this summer


Latest Showbiz

The musician is being held on suspicion of assault.US rapper ASAP Rocky faces another week in custody amid Stockholm fight probe

Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have confirmed a collaborative mezcal brand called Dos Hombres.Bryan Cranston teases Aaron Paul on Instagram as two confirm promotional event

Beyonce released The Lion King: The Gift, an album accompanying the reboot of the 1994 Disney animation, on Friday. Fans react as Beyonce releases new album featuring daughter Blue Ivy Carter

Ariana Grande fans are being warned security is being ramped up for her gigs in the 3Arena in Dublin this September.Ariana Grande fans warned of increased security at Dublin gigs

More From The Irish Examiner