Madam Butterfly King's Head
Paul Higgins returns to the King’s Head Theatre to direct Puccini’s Madam Butterfly in a new English version by Amanda Holden. The King’s Head Theatre is renowned for its radical reinventions of classic operas, from the reality TV set Cosí fan tutte, innovatively staged in rep with Louis Nowra’s play Cosi, to the intense La bohéme with a cast of four updated to the contemporary artist community of London. Here Madam Butterfly, designed by Luke W. Robson, is transposed into the contemporary world of manga, anime and Japanese street fashion, where Puccini’s poignant and lyrical tragedy dips into the underbelly of one of the most patriarchal societies in the developed world.
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Japanese schoolgirl culture, or Joeshi-kosei is huge in Japan. But is it harmless fun or sexual exploitation? Butterfly is a Japanese teenager trapped working in a maid's cafe in 21st Century Nagasaki. She has a chance to change her life when she meets an American Lieutenant. She believes they are marrying for love. Can she become a real wife in the eyes of this man, who sees her as a temporary plaything?