"Threepenny Opera? I'd pay more!"
by remotegoat reviewer for remotegoat on 20/10/11

It is with a huge sigh of relief that I can write the review of this, the third production in the current season from the training rep company Fourth Monkey.

Why the sigh of relief you ask? Simply because after being left wanting, and slightly irked, by the productions of Love of the Nightingale and Antigone I can joyfully report that this one works.

By and large this is a tightly directed, highly skilled production of The Threepenny Opera, which I think the audience have to cut a little slack to in places when the quality of some of the lead vocals leaves a touch to be desired in the clarity stakes, and ok there are still issues with some simple things such as projection at times also, but this is a strong ensemble ably led by the hugely talented and brooding presence that is Reuben Beau-Davies' McHeath. That man who can not only act (as seen in Antigone) but can also sing really rather well, he is the shining light in the production. Not to say that James Bryant, playing Mr Peachum doesn't run him a close second for watchability and for vocal talent also.

Other stand out performances in this production would have to include Andi Bradley, who although playing a beggar manages to make her minor part entirely full and rounded, something which some of the others do not quite manage to pull off with the same degree of accomplishement, Bryony Tebbutt as the divinely voiced and unfortunate Jenni Driver and Scott McGarrick who here shines as Tiger Brown, perfectly finding that path between the authority of his character and the torment within. And he can sing too.

All in all I would say a hugely entertaining and successful evening at the theatre and an impressive one from a company just starting out on their professional journey.

Suffice to say that if you are interested in finding some of the stars of tomorrow then come and see this production. I know that I will happily be returning to see more of Fourth Monkey in the future to find out how they develop the talent even more.

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