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Following official government advice theatres are currently closed to help slow the spread of coronavirus. For more information on cancelled performances click here.

The Threepenny Opera

First Published 27 May 2016, Last Updated 27 May 2016

What’s it all about?

The King is coming to London and everything must be perfect. Sadly life just doesn’t work like that, especially when you’ve got a womanising killer ruling the East End, a cross dressing psycho in charge of a gang of criminally minded beggars and brothels filled with scorned women with a taste for the high life. Emphasis on high…

If it’s sounding pretty bleak, don’t stop reading. Rufus Norris and Simon Stephens’ radical translation of the classic play with music is as witty as it is sharp, as raucous as it is dark. It’s a bit bonkers, a lot surreal and more than a touch creepy.

Still not sure what to expect? Imagine if Baz Luhrmann and Tim Burton had a love child who decided to make a piece of theatre inspired by Cabaret with a sprinkling of Sweeney Todd and a pinch of Punch & Judy. That. Sort of.

Who’s in it?

Rory Kinnear stars as the iconic womaniser Macheath. Kinnear is everything you want from a ruthless killer boasting a knack with the ladies: ominous, oddly vacant, hilarious and totally terrifying.

He finds his match in Rosalie Craig’s show-stealing Polly. With an inebriated Haydn Gwynne for a mother and Nick Holder as a corrupt cross-dressing crook for a father, she’s like a rebellious, grown up Matilda who has decided that crime does in fact pay.

Amongst the other sensational ensemble cast, look out for Sharon Small as the brazen, love sick Jenny Diver. While she might not boast Craig’s flawless voice, she shows us every ounce of emotion from Jenny’s tortured soul. 

What should I look out for?

Some early doors projectile vomiting that sets the tone.

The sound of bones being broken. Enough said.

Who was in the press night crowd?

We spotted Katherine Kingsley out to support her husband, company member Dominic Tighe, Lesley Manville and John Light.

In a nutshell?

Steeped in creepiness, stewed in surrealism, Rufus Norris and Simon Stephens get down and dirty for a witty, dark, delectable evening.

What’s being said on Twitter?


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Will I like it?

This isn’t going to be for everyone. If you’re averse to tapping into your dark side, maybe head to the other side of the river for the night. But if you’re not afraid of some good old fashioned naughtiness and filth, this will feel like the funniest bad dream you’ve ever had. In a good way.

The Threepenny Opera is playing until 1 September. You can book tickets through the National Theatre’s website.


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We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.