This afternoon, we finished piano rehearsals for a diabolical production of La Belle Hélène, Offenbach's witty operetta about Helen of Troy, Menelaus, Agamemnon and the rest which, like any decent work of its genre, should be sprinkled with current events-related jokes. This particular production is notable for possessing none of the following: charm, wit, humour, style, relevance and sparkle. How we manage to spend three hours in Greece without one single mention of the Euro is beyond me, but there you go. In fact, it's probably the worst production I've ever seen, let alone been involved with. Hell, it's not even sexy (and a good operetta should be)…Quite how it's managed over the years to find seven buyers in France is beyond me. Must be incredibly cheap. In any case, it has no business being in our theatre. What's more, there were four weeks of piano rehearsals, a quota you only normally get for a complicated premiere, not a tacky provincial reprise. To say it was like pulling teeth is an understatement. I don't know how the audience, used to high quality Christmas fare, is going to react to something this shabby, but we'll see. OK, I've said enough.
Don't come and see it. Vote with your feet. And look at this picture, instead: