Mr Punch at The Opera

21 August 2024 to 24 August 2024 Arcola Theatre

A puppet show poster titled Mr Punch at The Opera features a man in a top hat with an exaggerated expression, a puppet of Mr. Punch, and a crocodile. They are set against a bright theater backdrop with red curtains and ornate gold decor. The Opera Makers logo is in the corner.

A hilarious introduction to the world of opera for children.

This August will see the premiere of Mr Punch at The Opera at the Arcola Theatre. From The Opera Makers, this delightful and preposterous show is an interactive, pantomime-style adaptation of Pergolesi’s Renaissance opera La Serva Padrona, and is a fun (and short) way for children and families to access classical opera this summer. 

Mr Punch at The Opera explores all the ways puppets and opera singers can interact – as the heroine of the piece takes control of her story and her lazy boss Hubert, and lays siege to the mischievous Mr Punch’s theatre. For its time, La Serva Padrona was a progressive, feminist show with a feisty leading lady, and Mr Punch at The Opera takes this further, using an outdated narrative to red-flag representations of women in theatre and literature then - and now - turning the traditional anti-women idea of Punch & Judy on its head. 

This comic hoot of a show features beautiful singing and live instrumentation that children may not have experienced before. Mr Punch at The Opera boasts a new English libretto and hilarious book from Olivier Award nominated creator Becca Marriott. This fast-paced and funny show will capture the imaginations of young audiences and introduce them to classical music in a relaxed and child-friendly setting.

The cast features renowned comic baritone, Matthew Kellett and Grace Nyandoro - no stranger to children’s and community opera settings, as well as puppeteer Professor James and cellist Alison Holford. The show is directed by Becca Marriott, with assistant director Edie Bailey, and musically directed from the piano by Panaretos Kyriatzidis.

Recommended for ages 4+

Tickets from £8

Tickets: Book Tickets - Arcola Theatre