Edinburgh International Festival: The Beggar’s Opera

The Beggar’s Opera is brought into the modern day in this brand new production from Paris’s Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, resident company at the 2018 International Festival.

Edinburgh International Festival:  The Beggar’s Opera

About Edinburgh International Festival: The Beggar’s Opera

Johann Christoph Pepusch / John Gay
Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord / William Christie / Robert Carsen / Ian Burton

Swarming with highwaymen, thieves, jailors, pimps and prostitutes, John Gay’s savagely satirical and wildly entertaining ‘ballad opera’ invites you into a world of greed, crime, poverty, inequality – and outrageous comedy. Where politicians and officials are just as corrupt as the lowlife below them. And where, if you want to get ahead, all you can do is join them.

Devious gangmaster Peachum is a scammer: he shops criminals to the law, while pocketing the proceeds of their crimes himself. When he discovers that his daughter Polly has secretly married notorious highwayman Macheath, Peachum conspires with his prostitute wife to have Macheath hanged – and make off with his ill-gotten money himself. But they reckoned without Lucy Lockit, daughter of Newgate Prison’s corrupt jailor – herself jilted by Macheath and out for revenge.

This brand new production from Paris’s Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, resident company at the 2018 International Festival, has been created by two commanding figures across international stages.

Director Robert Carsen has worked in many of the world’s most prestigious opera houses and theatres. The production’s original music direction is by William Christie, a pioneering figure in early music and founder of virtuosic Baroque ensemble Les Arts Florissants.

With an eminent international cast of actor-singers, plus period musicians from Les Arts Florissants, this brand new, contemporary take on Gay’s work delves deeply into the opera’s pungent world of dark wit and double standards – a Beggar’s Opera very much for our own turbulent times.

The Beggar's Opera is part of the residency of the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord at the 2018 International Festival.


While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Edinburgh International Festival: The Beggar’s Opera are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.

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