Saturday, February 23, 2008

Coliseum Theatre

Today I went to see The Mikado at the English National Opera's Coliseum Theatre. This is the Johnathan Miller ("Beyond the Fringe") production, relocated from Tittipu to an English resort hotel in the 1930s. While I must admit I missed the kimonos a tad, I thoroughly enjoyed the cleverness of it, and the splendid performances, particularly Richard Stuart as Ko-Ko, who's been in the production at ENO off and on for twenty years. He's written a book about it, in fact, They'd None of 'Em Be Missed. Another standout was Frances McCafferty as the strong-willed Katisha.
The Coliseum is surprisingly without subtlety in its salute to Rome. Julius Caesar would have approved. The orb at the top rotates and is illuminated at night.
The front top portion of the Coliseum.
Compare this to the photo from 1963, below.

Couldn't they have crammed in a little more decoration in the auditorium?
At one time the Coliseum was not only a cinema, but one of four Cinerama theatres in London. The others were the Casino, now the Prince Edward, the Astoria and the Royalty.

As you can see by this amazing ad, the Casino and the Coliseum were operating at the same time. For more information about Cinerama theatres around the world, visit this comprehensive site.

No comments: