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Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs)

By Carl Grose

Kneehigh

HOME, 15 September 2015

Rina Fatania as Mrs Peachum in Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) by Kneehigh Theatre @ HOME Manchester. Photo by Steve Tanner.

Rina Fatania as Mrs Peachum in Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) by Kneehigh Theatre @ HOME Manchester. Photo by Steve Tanner.

A vibrant re-engineering of John Gay’s A Beggar’s Opera and Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera rework.

This one has pretty much the same storyline: archvillain Macheath, denizen of a dark and dystopian Sin City, is alternately in cahoots and at war with corrupt cops and venal politicians. What’s different is an effect, perhaps, of the set, which creates a page with several panels so that, wherever you look, there is always something going on. A busybody stage, brassy and brazen, with the characters drawn in bold, gaudy colours. Theatre as caricature/graphic novel.

Rina Fatania as Mrs Peachum gave the outstanding performance by a mile. She’s a whirlwind, a force of nature.

A stray thought struck me: maybe the trio of girls from Liverpool should have had curlers in their hair. A small ethnographic detail, but important nonetheless. Otherwise, all copacetic. A hit, a must-see.

Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) is showing at HOME until 26 September, further details can be found here.

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