Don Jo!

This strange show emerged at the Arcola Theatre's Grimeborn Festival in 2019, and somehow joined the nominees for the 2020 Offie Awards. I'm still shocked.

A cabaret version of Mozart's classic (if sexist, classist, and most other -ists one can think of) opera.

Why? Because when I read the accounts of Mozart's audience, playing cards and eating at the opera, it made sense to start asking "can we recreate original audience practice, as much as original performance practice?"

A queered take on Mozart's classic.

Why? Because at a workshop a queer theatre maker asked me why opera didn't do that,  and I didn't have any good answers.

A strange mix of Mozart, Britney Spears, and a bunch of other stuff from the Arcola Queer Collective.

Why? Because I genuinely believe that if we are to seek radical approaches in our work, our relationship to who gets to perform, have input, and be invited to see the show needs to reflect the ideas we want to uphold. I think the Arcola Queer Collective did a fabulous job, and created something unique to them. It lacked the polished cohesion of some shows, but it certainly showed the power of collective processes to create unique operatic shows.

It took three years to move from the initial idea to some sort of realisation of it. I'm not entirely sure that I'm done. But I'm glad that it got to go out into the world at least once.

“Never less than entertaining.”

- Evening Standard

Nominated for the 2019 Offie Awards, Best Opera

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