Greg Homann, (director), former Standard Bank Young Artist for Drama, has taken the famous grand opera and re-imagined it for a cast of three (two actor/singers and one pianist). The two actor singers work hard playing all the main characters and telling out the entire tale in only 1 hour and 15 minutes.
It is also no longer a tragedy. It has become a comedy. A musical comedy.
The two singer/actors are Clint Lesch and Len-Barry Simons. The pianist is Wessel Odendaal. The three of them make musical magic as they cavort around using visual and verbal humour to keep the audience amused throughout. Both singers are vocally secure and excellent actors.
I attended with both opera fundis and non-opera people in my group. It was interesting that the non-opera person caught the humour and enjoyed himself as much as the opera fundis. So no opera knowledge required, although I think knowing the original made it funnier (I might just be justifying my screeches of laughter).
Aida Abridged is exquisitely created and directed. It looks as if it has taken all the little mishaps from rehearsal and incorporated them into the work. They are hilarious.
The scroll (part of the brilliant set) is beyond fabulous as it serves the function of both Egyptian hieroglyphs and surtitles. The costumes pivot around hard hats embellished to represent their various characters.
I found the whole thing delightfully absurd and wonderful fun. I highly recommend it. It can be seen at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square until 1 February 2019.