Beggars Opera Album on CD in lovely digipack with liner notes from Ian Rankin and photos by Lisa Devine Sloan.
Also includes immediate download of 11-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.
Soundtrack to award-winning Scottish theatre company Vanishing Point's adaptation of John Gay's 18th Century masterpiece.
Immediate download of 11-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.
A BEGGAR’S BANQUET
I only went to see ‘The Beggar’s Opera’ in Edinburgh because of A Band Called Quinn.
Well, that plus the decidedly mixed reviews.
The show had picked up everything from put-downs to plaudits - one paper gave it five out of five, another (The Times) one star. People seemed unable to have anything but a strong opinion about the production. So, okay, I was intrigued. But I’d also been listening to A Band Called Quinn’s album ‘Sun Moon Stars’ a lot. I knew they were providing music for the show. What I didn’t know was that they would appear onstage throughout - in character and in costume. (Ever tried playing guitar solos in a World War One gas-mask? I doubt it’s straightforward.)
All you really need to know is, the show was a blast. Vanishing Point Theatre Company took John Gay’s original eighteenth century story and droppered a hallucinogen into its eyeball. The action shifted to the future. MacHeath (played to the hilt by Sandy Grierson) was all shaven-headed menace and chisel-jawed seduction. The underworld was represented by a huge mound of sand; a ladder led upwards to the overworld. MacHeath and his gang prowled like Clockwork Orange terrorists, when they weren’t being led by the nose by a posse of S&M hookers. The story, the set, the costumes, the acting… they all drew me in. The director, Matthew Lenton, had done a hell of a job.
But the music…. The music was everything. Singer Louise Quinn dressed the part and proved herself no mean actor, especially when MacHeath came to call. Guitars, drums and keyboards churned and writhed. The lyrics added layers to Gay’s original theme. I left the theatre stunned and wanting to experience it all again.
The show went on to tour Coventry and Glasgow, and then someone had the idea of capturing A Band Called Quinn’s performance for posterity, which is why I’m writing this and you’re reading it.
In fact, stop reading and get listening. Close your eyes and you could almost be there, aiding and abetting the arch-criminal MacHeath, or maybe even betraying him. Climbing a ladder towards fresh air and starlight, or stuck underground with cut-throats and stolen booty for company. Hero or villain: you decide.
Meantime, I’ll give it five stars.
released 08 May 2010
Performed by Louise Quinn, Bal Cooke, Robert Henderson, Aly MacRae, Steven Westwater
Guest Vox on 11: Guy Richards Smit
Produced and mixed by Bal Cooke and Louise Quinn
All Songs By Louise Quinn (copyright control)
Photos by Lisa Devine-Sloan
Costumes by Eve Lambert
Lighting/set by Kai Fischer
Visuals by Finn Ross (Mesmer)
Thanks to: Matt Lenton and all at Vanishing Point; Claire Williamson and all at the Lyceum; Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Tramway Glasgow
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