The Elixir of Love - King's Head Theatre

London theatre news: Monday 23 September 2019

London Fringe - Opera - Shows

Donizetti's comic masterpiece L'elisir d'amore is transposed to 1980's Barry Island for a brand new production at the King's Head Theatre from 25 September to 26 October 2019.
The Elixir of Love at the King's Head Theatre

Image courtesy King's Head Theatre

Following their critically acclaimed productions of Carmen, La Traviata and La bohème, the King's Head Theatre joins forces with acclaimed Welsh opera company Opera D'draig for a quirky, romantic and enchanting new take on Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, presented in English as The Elixir of Love.

The production runs from 25 September to 26 October 2019, with opening night on Monday 30 September.

Originally set in the basque country of Northern Spain in the 1870's, this new English version of The Elixir of Love transposes the action to the Italian immigrant community in the Welsh seaside town of Barry Island, in 1982.

As the Falklands war gains momentum and Thatcherism ravages the UK, can lovelorn poet Nemorion win the affections of the charismatic Adina?

Here's a taste of the opera in a behind-the-scenes video of Matt Kellett singing Udite Udite oh! Rustici ...

As part of their commitment to open up opera to as many people as possible, there will be a special performance for local primary school children as part of Islington Council's 11 by 11 scheme and discount tickets will be available to under 30's and the unwaged on select performances throughout the run.

The King's Head Theatre has established itself as the home of accessible, high quality opera on the fringe, with La bohème nominated for Best Opera Production at the 2018 Olivier Awards against offerings from the Royal Opera House.

The Elixir of Love will be directed by Hannah Noone, recent Staff Director on the National Theatre & Theatr Clwyd's production of Home, I'm Darling by Laura Wade, and a graduate of King's Head Theatre's award-winning Trainee Resident Director's scheme.

The libretto is written by Chris Harrisand Charles Court Opera's Musical Director David Eaton.

Amanda Mascarenhas, an Associate Artist of the King's Head Theatre, returns for her fifth production at the venue as Designer.

Speaking about her production, director Hannah Noone said ...

"I'm delighted to be back at the King's Head Theatre to direct this exciting new version of Donizetti's timeless rom-com The Elixir of Love.

This is an idea we've developed with welsh playwright Chris Harris and it feels genuinely thrilling to be able to share it with audiences at the King's Head Theatre, in a co-production with Opera'r Ddraig."

And here's King's Head Theatre's artistic director, Adam Spreadbury-Maher talking about the show ...

Show listing information


The King's Head Theatre's final opera production of 2019 is the The Elixir of Love as you've never seen it before.

This new English version of Donizetti's dazzling comic opera blends the sensational music with a decidedly different take on the astonishing tale of romance and magic.


Adina: Alys Roberts

Gina: Caroline Taylor

Nicky: David Powton

Brandon: Themba Mvula

Dulcamara: Matt Kellett


Brandon: Theo Perry

Gina: Shana Moron-Caravel

Adina: Caroline Taylor

Main cast do all performances except:

Tuesday 1st October: Theo Perry covering Themba Mvula (Brandon)

Wednesday 9th October (Matinee): Shana Moron-Caravel covering Caroline Taylor (Gina) & Caroline Taylor covering Alys Roberts (Adina)

Wednesday 9th October (Evening): Shana Moron-Caravel covering Caroline Taylor (Gina)

Tuesday 15th October: Theo Perry covering Themba Mvula (Brandon) & Shana Moron-Caravel covering Caroline Taylor (Gina) & Caroline Taylor covering Alys Roberts (Adina)

Tuesday 22nd October: Theo Perry covering Themba Mvula (Brandon)

Saturday 26th October (Matinee & Evening): Theo Perry covering Themba Mvula (Brandon)


Author: Chris Harris - Co-librettist; David Eaton - Co-librettist
Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Director: Hannah Noone
Designer: Amanda Mascarenhas
Musical direction: David Eaton
Lighting: Nic Farman


King's Head Theatre
115 Upper Street
N1 1QN


From: Wednesday 25 September 2019

Closed: Saturday 26 October 2019


Previews: £10 - £14



£27.50 Premium

Concessions: £19.50; Under 30 £10


Show website
ActDrop full listing for The Elixir of Love

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