by Laura Ferguson
Performer Stuart Coats and director Lyndee-Jane Rutherford have wrestled Mozart’s epic tale of debauchery and regret into a one-man, one-hour jaunt of Don Giovanni. Beautifully synchronised with the amazing pianist Thomas Nikora, Coats energetically flings himself into the story of Don Giovanni, who, after a lifetime of dueling and sleeping with anyone who will have him, is dragged into hell for refusing to repent .
Coats aggrandizes Don Giovanni; he drops punny zingers in every second line. There’s a treasure hunt of various song lyrics of contemporary songs in there. They were fun gems to sift through and worked to punctuate the emotions of the opera brilliantly, like when Donna Elvira calls Don Giovanni a bat out of hell.
As Coats chases the spectres of himself about the stage, we come to the climax of the show and the deus ex machina resolution. It is resourceful, clever and bitingly funny. Stuart Coats’ Don Giovanni is a fun rollick through a classic piece of theatre. As my first foray into the operatic world, it may just inspire me to catch the original sometime.
If you want to see this show, or any others of the Fringe Festival, head here.