Produced by OVO
By Bertolt Brecht (text & lyrics) and Kurt Weill (music) in collaboration with Elisabeth Hauptmann
English translation of the dialogue by Robert David MacDonald | English translation of the lyrics by Jeremy Sams
Directed by Adam Nichols and Co-Directed by Julia Mintzer | Conducted and Musically Directed by Lada Valesova
Mack the Knife is the lord of London’s criminal underworld, but he just wants to go mainstream… he swears! When he gets together with Polly Peachum, her father isn’t too happy about it. Jonathan Peachum, head of London’s beggar mafia, wants to get him out of the picture, but Macheath is too well connected to make this easy - even the Chief of the Metropolitan Police has his back. But an old flame, with revenge on her mind, might just do for him this time...
Will Macheath make it out alive? With or without his new wife Polly? We’re in the theatre, luvvies, not real life, so all the usual rules are off!
Superstar team Brecht and Weill set out to tell us about the ugliest bits of humanity, but they couldn’t help it if the music they set it to was super catchy. Hit songs like Mack the Knife and Pirate Jenny, tell us that “life’s a bitch and then you die” on the way to accidentally becoming the hit musical success of the 1930s, and later adapted by Frank Sinatra and used to sell Big Macs.
OVO’s raucous, riotous, and rough new production sets out to discover how a biting critique of capitalism became a money-making smash hit.