The Threepenny Opera

The Three Penny Opera

by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill
directed by 
Paul Wetherby


Text from the programme: A quarter of a century ago this year, Handel was forced to close for a time his successful London run of Italian operas because of the tremendous impact of the first "people's opera" or musical.  John Gay's The Beggar's Opera was an instant phenomenal hit and ran for sixty three nights, which was extra-ordinary at that time.

Fifty years ago this year in Berlin the poet, playwright and amateur singer Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) collaborated with the composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950) to produce The Three Penny Opera. Brecht borrowed the characters and basic plot from Gay's work, modernised the scene and set songs to Weill's jazzy, evocative score.  The Three Penny Opera was an immediate success and played in theatres all over Western Europe.  It became the target of violent denunciation by the Nazis and was banned in 1933 when Hitler came to power.  Brecht and Weill were forced into exile, both eventually arriving in America to work in Hollywood and on Broadway.  It was during this period that Brecht created such masterpieces as The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Mother Courage and Her Children.  However it is still The Three Penny Opera that makes the name of Brecht and Weill familiar to a worldwide audience today.



Narrator Malcolm Bates
Mr Peachum Martin Sadler
Filch Phil Brown
Mrs Peachum Sheila Buckthorp
Matt Phil Simmonds
Macheath Douglas Ballard
Polly Peachum Tina Sharpington
Bob Charles Barker
Walt Michael Holdstock
Jake Keith Bolton
Rev Kimball John Dring
Tiger Brown Neil Taylor
Dolly Liz McLeish
Betty Phyl Walshaw
Coaxer Joy Walker
Jenny Joyce Simmonds
Smith John Dring
Lucy Brown Julie Taylor
Constable Phil Brown
Beggars Angie McLeish, Douglas McLeish, Bev Bormann and Jane Coaten



Musical Director:  Pete Abbott

Violin Pete Abbott
Saxophone Arthur Simpson
Clarinet Tony Stevens
Piano Alan Whiting



Assistant Director Diane Sternfeldt
Stage Management Charles Barker, Rowan Crymble
Costumes Dee Broadbent
Set Construction Douglas Ballard, Neil Taylor, Charles Barker
Publicity Ilona Perkins
Lights Ron Colbourne, John Porada, Martin Ives
Sound Chic Ross



The Lindsey Rural Players gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Lincolnshire and Humberside Arts