Not as dramatic as a production of King Lear in which the actor actually goes mad, but a nice instance of life taking over from art, or vice versa, when the Lithuanian tenor Edgaras Montvidas took over from John Tessier at the last minute in Jonathan Miller’s beguiling production of The Elixir of Love at the Coliseum last week. (The understudy was also unavailable.) Montvidas knows the part of the forlorn Nemorino in Italian: his rival, the bumptious sergeant Belcore, the object of his desire, Adina, and everyone else was singing in English. Poor Nemorino, sitting alone in his corner, as the entire neighbourhood bounced and swayed around him, had every reason to feel misunderstood. He didn’t even speak the same language as his inamorata. ENO’s bilingual production will be repeated on 23 March.
Chickenshed’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream has a cast of more than 150: dozens of fairies, scores of mechanicals. Puck has three bodies, and when they tell us about ‘neighing in likeness of a filly foal’ or ‘in very likeness of a roasted crab’, they join to form a horse, a crab. It’s much stranger than the usual boy on a wire and utterly otherworldly.