Thursday, September 28

The Grand Old Opera House Hotel – Traverse Theatre

A technical Tour De Force, and certainly the most lavish production by the Traverse at this year’s Fringe, with a knock-out set and costumes by Ana Ines Jabares-Pita .

Set in an old haunted Opera house, turned 21st century hotel we follow, Aaron (Ali Watt) who has just started working at the hotel, but quickly discovers that hidden just beneath the magnolia painted walls lies the original spook-ridden opera house. It is not long before he meets and falls in love with a strange opera-singing girl, Amy (the wonderfully gifted Karen Fishwick) and he also finds his own opera voice. Once the ghosts and the guests all find their singing voices the real fun starts, let the panto-farce-opera commence.

There is some hilarious re-wording of opera favourites, which at least some of the audience ‘get’. Ironically though, this may be too dumbed-down for serious opera buffs, but too operatic for your regular Joe.

There is a lot to enjoy in the playful script by Isobel McArthur, and director Gareth Nichols has this galloping along, quite literally at times. The set is the real star, a veritable Pandora’s box of hidden entrances and exits and special effects and an absolute hoot for the audience, and the cast alike.

Great fun, but particularly so if you know your Carmen from your Barber.

Reviewer: Greg Holstead

Reviewed: 17th August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.