Ageing spinster Dr Evadne Hinge makes her operatic comeback this Autumn in comic opera The Dowager’s Oyster at the So & So Arts Club. Best known for performing with her cabaret partner Dame Hilda Bracket (now deceased), Dr Hinge is dusting off the old tiara and giving it one last whirl in Louis Mander’s rip-roaring Carry-On of a “kiss-me-quick whodunit” comic opera, which had its first outing at the Arcola Theatre earlier this year.
Cynthia and her aged mother, the Dowager, are holidaying on the French island of Oleron. Cynthia’s fiancé can’t join them – he’s on his own journey of discovery with a secret gay lover in Morocco. But when Cynthia and Dowager bump into old friends, gossip abounds and confusion ensues. It isn’t long before events are spiralling out of all control…
Hinge and Bracket, in their heyday, were the darlings of the London cabaret circuit, but it was their 1974 Edinburgh Fringe show that took them from the likes of the Royal Vauxhall Tavern into the glittering West End. This was followed by national tours; radio and TV performances; as well as their own BBC2 show, Dear Ladies.
Composer Louis Mander studied at The Royal College of Music and The University of Birmingham. His inaugural double-bill The Mariner and The Clown of God was well reviewed at its premiere in Islington in 2011. Scenes from his full-length opera The Life to Come, to a libretto by actor and writer Stephen Fry based on an EM Forster short story, were performed to considerable acclaim at the Britten Theatre, London in July 2013. Mander provided the soundtrack for the film My Beautiful White Skin, by award-winning director Stuart Gatt, for 6th International Films in Summer 2014.
The Dowager’s Oyster premiered at the Grimeborn Festival at the Arcola Theatre this August.
The Dowager’s Oyster
Music Louis Mander
Lyrics Jack Cherry
Additional dialogue and lyrics Gena G. Gloreo
Performance Dates November 22 nd 2016 – November 26th 2016
Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm
Saturday matinee at 2.30pm
Running Time 150 mins
The So & So Arts Club, 6 Frederick’s Pl, London EC2R 8AB
Ticket Price £25
Box Office Ticket Tailor (buytickets.at/belsizeopera)