Theatre Review: The Marriage of Figaro at The Coliseum

Fiona Shaw’s new production of Mozart’s classic opera breathes new life into an old classic

The Marriage of Figaro is one of the great comic operas, blending Mozart’s fantastic score with a farcical plot that sees virtually every character trying to outwit each other

Fiona Shaw’s new production brings new life to the old classic in so many ways. Her own heritage as an actress is clearly evident in the performances given by the talented and enthusiastic cast.

She has instilled a wonderful sense of comic timing which, combined with Jeremy Sams’ beautifully witty translation of Lorenzo Da Ponte’s Libretto, means the production is very very funny.

Iain Paterson as Figaro is the standout performer in a very strong cast. Elizabeth Llewellyn deserves special mention for standing in for Kate Valentine’s Countess at less than 48 hours notice.

The set, which mainly consists of a maze of interlocking rooms and corridors, makes great use of the space at The Coliseum. It is almost constantly revolving and frequently alive with scurrying servants, breathing a sense of freshness and dynamism into the three hour production.

Based on the opening night, Shaw is set to become a tour de force in British opera. Running until 10th November, The Marriage of Figaro is definitely worth a visit for both fans of Mozart’s work and newcomers.

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For those who miss it, no doubt a revival will follow very soon.

* The Marriage of Figaro is running at The Coliseum, in St Martin’s Lane, WC2, until Thursday, November 10.