The Threepenny Opera at National Theatre - Olivier tickets
The Threepenny Opera at National Theatre - Olivier tickets

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Overview

Rory Kinnear starred as Macheath in this ground breaking new production of the Bertolt Brecht classic The Threepenny Opera, based on Simon Stephens' innovative new translation which brings out the best of Brecht’s dark and provocative comedy.

Directed by the National Theatre’s current Artistic Director, Rufus Norris, The Threepenny Opera explores the dire consequences of inequality, rather poignantly set in London, in this biting satire.

As the city prepares for the coronation, the underworld of thieves, whores and bent coppers carries on in the darkness. With Mr and Mrs Peachum ready for another day working their magic as street beggars, a shadows hangs over them, after their daughter failed to return last night.

Little do they know however that Polly Peachum has recently married the notorious criminal Mack The Knife. With the Peachum’s resolution to get her out of the marriage, making sure Mack gets arrested and hangs seems to be the only option. Will the Peachum’s get their daughter back, or will Mack save his neck?

Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s original first opened in 1932 in Berlin, as a socialist critique of the contemporary world, shortly before they were forced to leave Germany in 1933 due to the Nazis seizing power.

Since then, the so-called ‘play with music’ has been performed over 10,000 times throughout Europe and has been translated into more than 18 languages, with the song ‘Mack The Knife’ becoming a classic, covered many times by artists such as Bobby Darin and Louis Armstrong.

Rufus Norris, currently artistic director of the National Theatre, took the helm as director in this monumental new production following recent success in his inaugural season with Everyman and Woner.land.

Norris’ production was brilliantly complemented by Vicki Mortimer’s design work, creating a grimy yet brilliant portrayal of a crime infested Victorian London, well fitted to Brecht’s masterpiece.

Rory Kinnear played the lead role of Macheath, or Mack The Knife, who will be known by many for his role as Bill Tanner in the James Bond film series. Kinnear has also achieved great critical success throughout his theatre career, having won the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role as the villainous Iago in the National Theatre’s production of Othello in 2014, as well as receiving great praise for his starring role in their 2010 production of Hamlet as well as appearing as Angelo in Measure for Measure at the Almeida Theatre.

Rosalie Craig co-starred as the bookish Polly Peachum. She is best known for her role in the 2013 Tori Amos musical The Light Princess which saw her being nominated for an Olivier Award and winning the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical Performance. Since then, Rosalie Craig has gone on to have highly successful roles in As You Like It, Sweeney Todd and The City of Angels.

With a brilliant creative team and some of the best musical talent on offer, The Threepenny Opera was a fantastically bold reworking of Brecht’s classic that is not to be missed. Having opened in May 2016, The Threepenny Opera ran until 1st October 2016.

Recommended for

Fans of Brecht shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see this innovative reworking of his classic work, masterfully done by the National Theatre’s Artistic Director Rufus Norris.

If you are unfamiliar with his work, then it is still highly recommended for anyone who enjoys dark and biting satire in their theatre, with The Threepenny Opera delivering this in the bucket loads through brilliant performances by Rory Kinnear and Rosalie Craig.

Age Recommendations: Recommended 12+

Dates and times

Running time: 2 hours 40 minutes (including interval)
Opened: 18 May 2016
Press night: 26 May 2016
Booking from: 30 Sep 2016
Booking until: 01 Oct 2016

Location and map

National Theatre - Olivier
National Theatre, Upper Ground
London, SE1 9PX

52 Reviews Add review

I thought this was really well done. I've never seen this show before and was pleased that the National were doing it. Then ther... More

missychrissy 3 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I thought this was really well done. I've never seen this show before and was pleased that the National were doing it. Then there was the bonus of Rory Kinnear playing Mac the Knife. It is certainly a strange play but that's Brecht for you. But you can't say it isn't moving and touches on reality. Yes, it's quite brutal, but I like the honesty of it. All the actors played their parts really well and I was pleasantly surprised at Rory Kinnear's voice - he's a pretty good singer. All in all, highly recommended if you like satire or you're into Brecht.

missychrissy 3 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I did enjoy this show, after initial reservations which were very rapidly quashed. An ingenious set with innovative use of the rev... More

joeevans 4 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I did enjoy this show, after initial reservations which were very rapidly quashed. An ingenious set with innovative use of the revolve. The musical arrangements were wonderful - very in keeping with Kurt Weill's original score but also managing to give a contemporary edge to it - the same with the lyrics and book: Simon Stephens adaptation found the balance of period and new, although Rufus Norris' direction was slightly off kilter at times. Some ideas worked well while others were a bit too bizarre. Rosalie Craig stood out - very spirited, as did Rory Kennear despite a consensus that he was miscast; though I didn't think so. There could have been more menace in his portrayal though, and less of the Cockney caricature. Overall - a well acted show. The use of the orchestra and musical staging was outstanding. I am a huge fan of Weill and Brecht and this production met expectations.

joeevans 4 reviews, 0 helpful votes

The show carries a warning of "filthy language and immoral behaviour", and this is delightfully accurate. The farcical depravity m... More

YankInLondon 5'5", 33 reviews, 1 helpful vote

The show carries a warning of "filthy language and immoral behaviour", and this is delightfully accurate. The farcical depravity moves along at breakneck speed from a wonderfully talented cast moving throughout the deconstructed set whirling on a turntable. Adaptations of Brecht will always be contentious, but I feel this version avails itself to being entertaining for the masses.

YankInLondon 5'5", 33 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Impressive performance of the company! So were the sets, the clothing... The National Theatre may not have the presence of older t... More

natlecoq 160cm, 23 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Impressive performance of the company! So were the sets, the clothing... The National Theatre may not have the presence of older theatres in the West End but it has its charm, mostly because of its stage and the mechanics behind (or below) it... Impressive!

natlecoq 160cm, 23 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Coarse & clever - politically relevant, with a classic score. It tells a dark tale of Mack the Knife, played brilliantly by Rory K... More

DebbieGilpin 160cm, 145 reviews, 20 helpful votes

Coarse & clever - politically relevant, with a classic score. It tells a dark tale of Mack the Knife, played brilliantly by Rory Kinnear - his voice stands up to a fairly considerable task and has great comedic timing. There is a hugely talented ensemble, who come together to provide an entertaining night out.

DebbieGilpin 160cm, 145 reviews, 20 helpful votes

Phenomenal production - ingenious staging with a brilliant set, fantastic performances throughout and great music to top it off. D... More

jgblunners 6'2", 119 reviews, 2 helpful votes

Phenomenal production - ingenious staging with a brilliant set, fantastic performances throughout and great music to top it off. Definitely not suitable for the young or sensitive though!

jgblunners 6'2", 119 reviews, 2 helpful votes

laurenjfm 5'10, 25 reviews, 0 helpful votes

laurenjfm 5'10, 25 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I loved the musical because it's different from the classic west end musicals and a bit similar to Sweeney Todd. It was a very goo... More

lauranellie 161, 6 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I loved the musical because it's different from the classic west end musicals and a bit similar to Sweeney Todd. It was a very good surprise.

lauranellie 161, 6 reviews, 0 helpful votes

A funny, wacky joyful production with an excellent turn from Rory Kinnear.

nats1602 5"11, 43 reviews, 5 helpful votes

A funny, wacky joyful production with an excellent turn from Rory Kinnear.

nats1602 5"11, 43 reviews, 5 helpful votes