A little bit cheeky.

I’m not quite sure where to start with my thoughts on How to Kill Your Husband… should I first mention the story, the talent, the orchestra or the general naughtiness of the show?

Maybe I’ll just start by marvelling at the fact that I have made it to two events in under a week. Now that’s a record. Much thanks to @fionak for making an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Photo: Uni of Melb Alumni

But enough self congratulations, it’s time to move on to the show itself. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve never been to an opera before, and How to Kill Your Husband did not disappoint as a suitable introduction.  Victorian Opera have bravely taken on a popular, modern source (Kathy Lette’s best-selling novel of the same name, published in 2007) and transformed it into a irreverent, yet slightly earnest operatic tale of two women in marital crisis.  From the outset the show has Jazz and Cass struggling to regain control of their unsatisfying, house-wifey lives, helped in no small part by Angel’s handy hints and cheeky intervention. Their husbands are unlikable in the most part, which of course is the point, although it is nice to see that Rory is somewhat redeemed by the end of the performance.

The talents in How to Kill Your Husband were most impressive.  I’m no expert in this style (not by a very long shot) but I did think that the casual operatic styling, quite heavily peppered with cabaret worked a treat.  Angel, played by Melissa Langton was outstanding, her cabaret voice the star of the show.  The casting of counter-tenor, Tobias Cole in the role of Studz (a particularly despicable character) was quite transfixing.  His incredibly high voice created a rather obvious contrast to the mysoginest, matcho role, adding a real sense of irony to his story. This was quite an intriguing element to the preformance.  A further, extra-special treat was the appearance of Christa Hughes as Bianca the sex therapist.  Her bawdiness made me both giggle and cringe, and her casting in this role made perfect sense.

As a little aside, I really enjoyed the fact that the Victorian Opera Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Richard Gill was positioned centre stage. It gave a kind of ‘big band’ feel to the performance, fitting as they were fronted by the huge voice of Langton.

I’d recommend How to Kill Your Husband as a great girls night out, although I’m sure the boys out there would enjoy it too providing they don’t take themselves or the show too seriously.  Similarly, I’d recommend this show as a really suitable introduction to opera…Victorian Opera should be commended.

The show is on at the Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne until 29 May 2011, and for an extra affordable evening out Rushcrowds have half-price tickets for this Thursday, 19 May 2011.  Click here for details and go along for the ride.