Setting the scene: 'The Threepenny Opera'

Setting the scene: 'The Threepenny Opera'

Politically sharp, darkly comic, and packed full of live music, this is a play that'll make you laugh and make you think...

The premise of the play is that notorious criminal Mack the Knife has married Polly Peachum, and her racketeer father is furious.

And this is all taking place during the run up to the coronation of the monarch.

(In our version, it's the run up to King Charles III's coronation. In the original version, it was just ahead of the coronation of Queen Victoria.)

Criminals and opportunists plan to make the most out of this power vacuum, including Mack the Knife and Mr Peachum...

Based on John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, The Threepenny Opera was written by Bertolt Brecht and Elisabeth Hauptmann, with music by Kurt Weill

It was a revolutionary piece of theatre when it premiered in Germany in 1928, and remains a powerful and radical production today.

For Brecht, the use of all the elements of theatre - music, staging, sound, lighting - are used to create various perspectives and to encourage audiences to think about and debate the issues he highlights in his productions.

First fully-staged in the UK in 1956, it is now set to storm the Octagon Theatre Bolton in a flurry of band music and criminal activities.

The music is deep, discordant, and incredibly catchy, drawing the audience into the murky world of Brecht's idea of capitalism and criminality.

The play opens with what is possibly the play’s most famous song, The Ballad of Mack the Knife, setting the stage for the criminal underworld to come out and play.

A cast of 12 actor-musicians are here at the Octagon rehearsing, breathing new life into this satirical and provocative piece. 

The Threepenny Opera is playing at the Octagon from Thu 12 October - Sat 4 November 2017.