Volunteer Review: Discovery Matinee at Opera Holland Park

During the summer, Opera Holland Park runs a variety of Discovery Matinees, welcoming people who want to try opera out for the first time in a Relaxed environment, and those who love opera but find the normal theatre-going experience inaccessible. You can learn more about these Discover Matinees here.

One of our volunteers there recently attended a performance of Itch and shared the following review:

In one of the wettest days of the year, under the protective canopy of the Holland Park Opera, we watched a dramatic and gripping fable unfold, brimming with tension and raw energy. Disbelief at the unlikely plot was willingly suspended, as the rain clattered against the domed marquee, sounding to this audience member like the urgent clamour of a Geiger counter. This seemed highly appropriate given that the theme was the possession of and desirability of possessing, an extremely radioactive lump of lock. The rain adding, rather than to detracting, from the afternoon drama.

The plot rattled along at a terrific pace, replete with pantomime villains and an unlikely beachcomber. Itch the central character, played by Temple-Smith, obsessed with chemistry and a desire to obtain all the elements of the periodic table, is the unlikely discoverer of a highly radioactive new element, this triggers the action of theft and counter theft, the drama of a kidnap, chase and escape, as the evil teacher Flowerdew, Nicholas Garrett, along with a corporate giant, the ironically named Green Corporation, – playing the role of corporate greed, -seek to profit from Itch’s discovery. Finally Itch does what all heroes must do, and do alone, even at the cost of his own life, that is the right thing.

For me however it was Itch’s sister, played by Natasha Agarwal who stole the show. Combining sisterly protective instincts, irritation with her brother and a capacity for mischief.

The impressive set and insistent prodding score all added up to a provide a memorable afternoon, with the rain contributing an impressive walk-on part.

– S.M (Volunteer at The Discovery Matinees at Opera Holland Park)

Learn more about Opera Holland Park here and find more of our current Volunteer Opportunities here!