If visual stimulation is what you're after, there was no shortage of it in this homosexualised production of Georges Bizet's opera, though its’ emphasis did result in a lack of passion between protagonist Jose and the male Carmen. Failing to connect with the audience, the members' attention was often diverted to the projected images of scantily clad men behind, yet far from adding to the sensuousness of the piece, it rendered the opera mere smut at times.

Where its’ strength lay was undoubtedly in the faultless musical accompaniments.

That's not to say that there was a lack of intimate moments within the play. Jose's first sexual encounter included all the necessary writhing and lustful expressions, and so too did the final embrace between the lead and Carmen have all its dramatic beats. However, even these snippets of impressive performances couldn't prevent the show from reigniting the true nature of the French opera.

Where its’ strength lay was undoubtedly in the faultless musical accompaniments. The musical shifts from one scene to the next encouraged the audience to stick with an otherwise average show. Indeed, it was this aspect of it that I believe garnered the most applause.

Though criticising certain techniques deployed in this play, the efforts Secret Opera went through to make it a more contemporary-relevant performance is admirable. However, certain English translations from the French were not as appropriate as they could have been, which furthered the lack of passionate punch that was so desperately needed. Although, respect should be given to the theatre company trying to make homosexual relationships more mainstream. Just don't expect any boundaries to be pushed.

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The Blurb

Set in the gay community of liberal 1920s Spain. José, the central character in this all-male reworking of Bizet’s tragic opera, is sexually confused and dominated by a strictly religious upbringing. His infatuation with handsome Carmen leads to inner turmoil and tragedy – a journey which reflects the reality still faced by too many LGBT individuals today. “The ‘shes’ may now be ‘hes’, but when it comes to operatic heartbreak, gender is irrelevant.” Sung in English with piano and cast of four.

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