EAT OR BE EATEN, MORALITY CAN WAIT
In a world where evil goes unpunished, money is corrupt, law is fickle and lowly souls remain on the poverty line, roams London’s most notorious criminal, Mackheath ‘Mack the Knife’. He has recently married Polly, the daughter of Mr Peachum, the leader of the beggars. However, Peachum is so displeased with this that he concocts a plan to have his new son-in-law hanged. Through a deceitful web of blackmail, bribery and brothels, Macheath is eventually caught and taken to the gallows. Will he hang, or will society offer him an escape?
An opera for beggars. Conceived with magnificence such as only beggars could imagine and an economy such as only beggars could afford. The play deals with the tension between poverty and morality and presents social critique of the middle class and of society’s treatment of the homeless and the poor. The play was first produced in Berlin in 1928 and revolutionised the world of musical theatre. One of the early and most accessible examples of Brecht’s Epic Theatre, it challenges the audience to reflect on their own beliefs and behaviour towards the poor and the underprivileged of our society. Famous for its exceptional musical score (which includes opening number ‘Mack the Knife’) and for its in-your-face realism, this is theatre with an edge and a healthy dose of cynical parody to get you thinking.
This Wellington Repertory Theatre production is a play with music by Bertolt Brecht & Kurt Weill; based on Elisabeth Hauptmann’s translation of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera.