Performers gather to test opera cocktails

Christian Morral, Nathalie Gunn & Paul Bruce, who will be appearing in Die Fledermaus on March 1-3.
Christian Morral, Nathalie Gunn & Paul Bruce, who will be appearing in Die Fledermaus on March 1-3.
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Some might suppose students would not need to work too hard to create a party mood. But when a crowd of them took over a Southsea bar, it was all in the name of art.

Performers in the forthcoming production by the University of Portsmouth Dramatic and Musical Society (UPDMS) gathered at the Kings Theatre to test a range of vodka-based cocktails to be guzzled in Die Fledermaus (March 1-3).

Act Two of of Johann Strauss’s frothy opera is set in the home of a louche Russian prince, Orlofsky, and Nathalie Gunn has decided to turn the setting into ‘an upmarket fetish club with everyone in a burlesque kind of cabaret.’

Nathalie, 23, also produced last year’s UPDMS production of The Yeomen Of The Guard but reveals: ‘I actually wanted to do Fledermaus then because I thought it was so well-suited to a modern setting.

‘Given the ages of the people we have, I thought it would be an interesting way of getting them passionate about this show. All the characters seem quite modern anyway.’

Hence the cocktail session – resulting in the best one being available in the Kings bar during the production. The idea came from Nathalie and the university’s director of music, Colin Jagger, who will conduct the performances.

The production will be in English but using the full original score.

Tickets cost £12 from the Kings Theatre, Southsea on (023) 9282 8282 or go to kings-southsea.com.

MIKE ALLEN