facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close home newspaper-o perm_device_information restaurant school stay_current_landscape ticket train

Review: Rita at the Charing Cross Theatre

By Tony Beckingham First Published 10 August 2022, Last Updated 11 August 2022

Last night I went to the Charing Cross Theatre for a new English-language translation of Rita, a one-act comic opera, in a new English-language translation.

Originally written in French, the story concerns inn-keeper Rita, the controlling wife of Beppe. She tells us that she learnt how to dominate her spouse from her mean ex-husband, who died in a shipwreck many years before.

A woman with red hair wearing a flowery dress standing in a door frame.

But this being an opera, it turns out her ex-husband Gasparo not only survived the shipwreck but is passing through the town where Rita now lives and ends up staying at her inn – what a coincidence!

The Charing Cross Theatre is the perfect setting for this three-piece comic opera which is full of funny and silly moments. It’s one of my favourite venues in London because it’s so intimate which works really well for this show. You get to see the performers up-close, which means they can sell the comedy of their facial expressions.

Three of the cast standing in three doorframes.

You can also see the 11 piece orchestra, who are positioned behind the performers and raised up on a stage, rather than in an orchestra pit, which I really enjoyed. The music was very uplifting and full of energy.

As it’s a light comedy, the show is 75 minutes long which makes it a great opportunity to try out opera without having to commit to a long piece. Also unlike many operas it has been translated into English and so you don’t need surtitles to follow what’s being said.

A woman with red hair and a flowery dress sat at a table. There is a door frame in the background.

There are only eight more performances left, so book now!


Sign up

Related articles