Opera and contemporary pop beats don’t necessarily mix well. Writing duo Stephen Hyde and Leo Mercer have set themselves an ambitious task marrying the two, resulting in a show that’s more interesting in concept than execution.
There’s a lot of arguing on stage. Lawyer Amelia is married to struggling West End composer Stephen. She wants to watch Kim Kardashian, where he wants to lose himself in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. We follow Kardashian's short-lived marriage to basketball star Kris Humphries on one side of the stage, while the count and countess Almaviva quarrel on the other. Amelia and Stephen are stuck in the middle and fight over the remote control.
Each couple has their own musical style: the Almavivas sing—first in Italian and later in witty English rather free translations—to Mozart’s scores. The Kardashians use electrobeats and rap, where Stephen and Amalia drift somewhere in between the two, cleverly borrowing elements of both, skilfully played by a fantastic band.
The songs are plagued by scansion and prosody problems, and the majority doesn’t necessarily move the plot along – so there isn’t a lot happening in its 75 minutes. It’s hard to see why Amelia decides to not break up with the misogynist and egocentric Stephen, as there’s no chemistry between them.
What the writers are trying to say with this show, remains unclear. Some people, like Kardashian, rush into a marriage without properly considering it. It feels like this show could have done with a longer engagement period before going public.