The Convict's Opera
By Stephen Jeffreys, adapted from The Beggar's Opera by John Gay
The world’s first musical - and still one of the best - The Beggar’s Opera is the raucous tale of ladies' man Macheath and sweet Polly Peachum juggling love and deceit in the dirty underbelly of 18th Century London.
In a theatrical coup the opera is reimagined: writer Stephen Jeffreys (The Art of War, The Libertine) and celebrated British director Max Stafford-Clark shift the setting to a creaking convict ship bound for Australia. To pass the time, a group of Second Fleet convicts put on an opera set in the world they’ve left far behind, and will probably never see again.
The Convict's Opera is a unique co-production between Sydney Theatre Company and Out of Joint, Max Stafford-Clark's legendary touring theatre company.
Featuring a cast of talented actor-musicians drawn from Britain and Australia, The Convict’s Opera brings together the classic folk songs of the original with some modern musical surprises - and plenty of infamy, intrigue, fun and romance.