Every summer, Gods and Monsters Theatre perform a play outdoors in The Scoop, near London Bridge. This year marked my first experience of their work, with a performance of The Ring Cycle Plays.
Adapted from Richard Wagner’s librettos by Phil Willmott, Racky Plews and Lisa Kuma, the four plays – The Rhine Gold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried and Twilight of the Gods – are epic adventures which inspired Tolkien. Performed over four hours, they are an exhilarating experience – and all for free. At The Scoop, people may come and go all night long, but I preferred to go for the beginning and stay until the end. Sitting on the cold hard steps for so long required some endurance, but I thought it was worth it.
The stories were engrossing, with strong performances, laced with humour, and full of action. If I ever get around to seeing the operas themselves, my memories of this show should help me; if I don’t, they are good plays in their own right.