The Enchanted Lovers – A New Dido

This is a cut-down, updated version of Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, created by Howard Goodall in 1986 for the South Bank Show.

Dido is the queen of Carthage and has recently been widowed. Aeneas, a prince of Troy, has stopped briefly in Carthage while on a quest to rebuild Troy in Italy. Dido has fallen in love with him but feels guilty about what she feels is her betrayal of her dead husband. Three evil witches, who hate Dido, see this as a chance to attack and kill her. When Dido and Aeneas go out hunting in the afternoon the witches summon up a storm causing everyone to flee, leaving Dido and Aeneas alone to consummate their love.

While the lovers sleep, one of the witches appears to Aeneas and reminds him that he has made pledges that cannot be broken and he must leave immediately or be cursed by the gods. Reluctantly, he agrees to leave, calls his soldiers and sailors together and begins preparing the fleet.

When Dido awakes she is distraught to find that Aeneas has apparently left. However, he returns to Dido and offers to renounce the gods and stay. Dido refuses him so he leaves for good, after which Dido commits suicide.

This is a very entertaining production and on the whole very well sung. It is more approachable and shorter than the original version by Purcell, and is a good introduction to opera. There were many children in the audience and they certainly appeared to be enjoying it. Recommended.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

History Boys

★★★★

Dracula

★★

Cherry Orchard

★★★★

Azincourt

★★★★

Secret Garden

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Augustine’s, 6-12 August 16:10 (1hr)

Most Popular See More

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

My Fair Lady

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets