The Convict’s Opera


ISBN: 9781848420151
Author: By Stephen Jeffreys
Publication Date: 02/10/2008
Publisher: Nick Hern Books
Extent: 128pp.
Availability: Available


Stephen Jeffreys’ The Convict’s Opera reimagines the world’s first ever musical, The Beggar’s Opera, as a performance on board a creaking convict ship bound for Australia.

To pass the time on their journey to Australia, the convicts put on John Gay’s musical satire, The Beggar’s Opera, introducing us to treacherous highwayman MacHeath and sweet Polly Peachum as they juggle love and deceit in the dirty underbelly of eighteenth-century London. It’s a world the convicts have left far behind, and will probably never see again.

The Convict’s Opera was first performed by Out of Joint and Sydney Theatre Company at Sydney Theatre in 2008, followed by a UK tour in 2009.

‘Part historical romp, part Brechtian jukebox musical, Stephen Jeffreys’s script is often times funny and beautifully written’
Sun-Herald, Australia

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