Opera review: China Doll – A Neuropera in Four Seasons
Opera review: China Doll – A Neuropera in Four Seasons

Edinburgh Festival Fringe opera review: China Doll – A Neuropera in Four Seasons, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Kettle ★★ There’s no denying the energy and ambition that have gone into Bad Habit Theatre’s strange little operatic tale of feigned pregnancy, prostitution and disillusion, their first production. But likewise, there’s no denying that it’s a …

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Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe opera review: China Doll – A Neuropera in Four Seasons, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Kettle

★★

There’s no denying the energy and ambition that have gone into Bad Habit Theatre’s strange little operatic tale of feigned pregnancy, prostitution and disillusion, their first production.

But likewise, there’s no denying that it’s a bit all over the place. Jakob Robertson’s intentionally disconcerting (I hope) music samples Satie, Shostakovich and 1940s marching tunes alongside his own, rather generic musical theatre accompaniments, and his libretto ranges from the banal to the excessively profane.

Performances are functional rather than charismatic, and director Bryony Maguire has missed a trick in pointing up the wilful weirdness more wittily. There’s great potential here, but as it stands it feels frustrating.

Pleasance Dome (Venue 23), until 31 August, noon / listings

Published in The Scotsman on 15 August 2015

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