Win: Theatre tickets

PUBLISHED: 09:18 03 May 2011

ONE of Strauss’ best known and much loved operettas, Die Fledermaus, is brought to life after Easter as the highly-acclaimed Opera della Luna visit The Playhouse for the first time.

It is surely one of the world’s most famous comic operettas and will be staged at the Weston venue on May 26.

Full of all the enchanting ingredients of a ‘light’ opera, such as a good, fun story, supported by scintillating tunes, there is a healthy dose of mistaken identities, cheating spouses and a dastardly character to ensure this is a juicy production with all the fizz of champagne.

This famous work gets a glittering new look by the country’s best small-scale operetta company.

Having earned itself a matchless reputation, touring the country for more than 10 years with acclaimed productions of Gilbert and Sullivan and Offenbach, it now turns its hand to this most sparkling of scores.

Set in Austria in the 1890s, the story follows the fortunes of Gabriel Eisenstein.

Eisenstein is due to go to prison to serve a short sentence for ‘insulting behaviour’, however his friend Dr Falke persuades him and his unique pocket-watch, to first attend a party. Unbeknown to Eisenstein, Falke has also arranged for Gabriel’s wife, Rosalinda, to go to the same party disguised as a Hungarian countess.

Rosalinda receives a visitor that evening in the shape of old flame Alfredo but the evening is interrupted by the warden Frank, who mistakes Alfred for the man he has come to arrest. Rosalinda persuades Alfred to save her name by posing as her husband, and Frank takes him to jail.

At the party, Rosalinda disguised as a temperamental Hungarian countess is soon wooed by her own husband and she steals his pocket-watch as proof of his philandering, however, when the clock strikes six o’clock, Eisenstein staggers off to keep his appointment at the jail.

Confusion abounds at the jail, as Eisenstein hands himself in only to discover his cell is occupied by a man who was supping with his wife.

When Rosalinda arrives to get Alfredo out, Eisenstein disguises himself as a lawyer to trick the truth out of his ‘promiscuous’ wife.

Will the couple be able to sort out the night’s activities or will it end in divorce? And will they discover that the evening was a prank by Falke in revenge for a practical joke Eisenstein played on him where the doctor was forced to walk across town in broad daylight dressed in the costume of a bat?

This entirely new, saucy, production is directed - with his own new translation - by Jeff Clarke, and designed by Gabriella Csanyi-Wills.

Tickets, priced £16.50 - £18.50, are available from The Playhouse or Winter Gardens box offices on 01934 645544 or via www.theplayhouse.co.uk

n The Mercury has teamed up with The Playhouse to offer three lucky readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to the show.

To enter the competition, simply answer the following question: What is Gabriel’s surname?

Send your answer on a postcard, along with your name, address and telephone number, to: Die Fledermaus competition, Weston Mercury, 32 Waterloo Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1LW, by 9am on May 5. Alternatively, click on the link at the top of the page to enter.

Usual Archant rules apply and the editor’s decision is final.

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