The Threepenny Opera

Much has been written about Brechts Threepenny Opera - after all, it was written in 1928 and plenty of critics have had a chance to dissect what has been become one of the earliest examples of 'epic theatre'. Sometimes it's possible to over-analyse, and miss the point of a good night's entertainment. This is, after all, a musical comedy.

Brecht's play is inhabited by beggars, thieves and prostitutes. This is not Jerry Herman. Central to the plot, MacHeath (Mack the Knife - and yes, the very same which Louis Armstrong and later Bobby Darin carved a living off the back of), marries Polly Peachum. Her father, Jonathan Peachum, played by the enthralling Spencer Pinkus, is none too pleased with this arrangement and spends much effort in having MacHeath hanged. So much for the in laws. Peachum's endeavours are hampered by the fact the chief of Police, Tiger Brown, is somewhat pally with MacHeath (even to the point the portrayal would suggest Brown would rather like some romantic involvement). Peachum's influence eventually brings MacHeath to trial, but in a rather bizarre twist is pardoned and titled. It was all going on in the twenties…

This company had already set themselves high standards. Last year CUBS brought Sondheim's Putting It Together to the Fringe, so the follow up would need to be pretty outstanding. Alexandra Spencer-Jones directs, and finds just the right level somewhere between Burlesque and Depravity. The cast bring Kurt Weill's beguiling score to life - this is Cabaret with attitude, long before Sally Bowles stepped foot in the Kit Kat Club. Jacky Evans as Mrs Peachum excels. Christopher Crawshaw as Tiger Brown brings a tenderness to the role which plays delightfully with Rob Heaps' MacHeath. And Thomas Kohut keeps us all in check as the seductively camp Balladeer.

This is a luscious and rich production of a masterpiece of musical theatre. Yet again, CUBS do not disappoint.

Reviews by Pete Shaw

Good Grief

★★★★
The Phoenix Arts Club Facebook Live Page

Live From The Phoenix Flat

★★★★★
Crescent - The Vaults

Over My Dad's Body

★★★★
Greenwich Theatre

Sleeping Beauty

★★★★★
Christmas in Leicester Square

La Clique

★★★★★

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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Brecht and Weill in Tony-winning Blitzstein adaptation: Mack the Knife, with friends in high places, can watch justice hang and the streets ooze with corruption, violence and poverty. London-1837, Berlin-1928

Most Popular See More

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets