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The Beggars Opera

A man who loves money, might as well be contented with one guinea, as I with one woman.

The future’s here. It’s a brave new world, but wherever there’s a world there’s an underworld: muggers, smugglers, prostitutes, thieves. And most of all, celebrities. Nobody plays by the rules, least of all MacHeath – bandit, hedonist, superhero to some, villain to others. But on the front pages of all the magazines. In a world of imitators and wannabes, he’s the genuine article. But where he goes, trouble is sure to follow.

MacHeath has married Polly Peachum. But he fancies Lucy Lockit. Lucy Lockit fancies MacHeath, but Polly doesn’t want to share. Mr Peachum wants MacHeath’s head, so does Mr Lockit. And the law. With so many enemies, it’s hard to tell who your friends are.

John Gay’s 18th century play, The Beggar’s Opera has been reconfigured in to our not too distant future: A dark, seedy, absurd, visually rich and cruelly comic co-production from Vanishing Point, The Royal Lyceum and Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, in association with Tramway. Featuring brand new live music from Alasdair Macrae and A Band Called Quinn, cutting edge production design and a large cast of leading performers, The Beggar’s Opera is a music gig with a story.

Performance dates

12 September - 03 October, 2009

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

09 October - 24 October, 2009

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

28 October - 28 October, 2009

Tramway, Glasgow


'One of the year’s most exciting stage experiences…more relevant than ever… sexy, stylish, races to a show stopping climax. Unmissable'
★ News of the World

'Matthew Lenton's panoramically brash production threatens to burst out of Kai Fischer's stunning sand pit set, such is the scale of its broad grotesquery.'
★ The Herald 

'groundbreaking co-production… Bold, messy and often visually stunning… a tantalising mix of thrilling theatrical achievement'
★ The Scotsman 

'Has nothing to say about today’ 
★ The Guardian 

'some sort of narrative might have been handy'
★ The Times



A co-production with Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh and Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. In association with Tramway, Glasgow.

Created by Vanishing Point
Directed by Matthew Lenton
Assistant Director Rosie Kellagher (Supported by the Federation of Scottish Theatre and the Scottish Arts Council)
Set and Lighting Design by Kai Fischer
Music by Alasdair Macrae and A Band Called Quinn
Sound Design by Mark Melville
Projection Design by Finn Ross for mesmer
Costume Design by Eve Lambert
Dramaturg Nicola McCartney
Creative Associate Sandy Grierson

MacHeath Sandy Greirson
Peachum James Bryce
Mrs Peachum Pauline Goldsmith
Polly Peachum Victoria Bavister
Lockit Damir Todorovic
Lucy Lockit Elspeth Brodie
Mrs Trapes Rosalind Sydney
Nimming Ned Alasdair Macrae

A Band Called Quinn
Louise Quinn, Alistair Cooke, Steven Westwater, Robert Henderson

Development artists
Jenny Hulse, Myra McFadyen, Tam Dean Burn, James Pearson



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