German dramatist Bertolt Brecht wrote this musical in 1928 during a capitalist crisis. This production updates it with modern references, even including Jimmy Savile.
Boss Peachum (Garry Robson) makes money out of organising begging, and knows “the beggar, the banker, the cop are all on the take.” Main villain MacHeath (Milton Lopes) wants to move into banking, because there is “less danger, more profits.”
Peachum sees his daughter Polly (CiCi Howells) as a business asset, as does MacHeath, and the two struggle to control her. But Polly too is coldly calculating.
Brecht’s target is the corruption of capitalist society. Crime doesn’t just pay—it’s indistinguishable from business.
The production is fast and funny with strong acting and singing performances.
Enhanced by words and images on overhead screens, Brecht’s satirical songs savage bourgeois morality.
Nottingham Playhouse until Saturday 8 March then touring to Ipswich, Birmingham and Leeds nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/whats-on/drama/the-threepenny-opera