Saturday, 20 October 2007

A Carmen travesty

Went to English National Opera last night to see Sally Potter's Carmen. I was reviewing it for Sky Arts's website, and so had the luxury of press tickets. This means you get to see it free, and then get paid for slagging it off and telling people not to go, which is agreeable but seems a trifle unfair.

Anyway, it also means you have a spare free ticket, and so can take someone else along with you. Normally I go with someone from Goldsmiths, or one of my drinking chums, in which case I bring a bottle of cheap Cab Sauv, two plastic tumblers, and a saucer of crisps, and we have a quick party downstairs during the interval. This time I invited Nan, so I did things a bit posher, such as not picnicking next to the toilets, and having a shave beforehand.

I won't describe the ENO Carmen here, partly because the full review will appear on the Sky Arts website ( in due course, mainly because it's a bit rubbish, with too many visual gimmicks at the expense of dramatic and musical coherence. What, for example, those three blokes in full female flamenco dancer gear were doing there, I don't know.

Still, they were rather striking, in their high heels, extravagant polka-dot gypsy dresses, and skyscraper mantillas, which made them about seven foot tall. I can see Dan getting ideas already...

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