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Five reasons to see Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) at Lyric Hammersmith

The Kneehigh team gives us five reasons not to miss this five-star show at the Lyric from the end of May

© Steve Tanner
Pioneering theatre company Kneehigh returns to the Lyric Hammersmith with its trail-blazing Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs), and we are very excited. We chat to the Kneehigh team to find out exactly why you shouldn't miss this celebrated show, based on John Gay's The Beggar's Opera.

1. The company

Kneehigh is a Cornwall-based theatre company who tour nationally and internationally. For over 35 years it has created vigorous, popular and challenging theatre from its cliff-top base and always performs with joyful anarchy. Kneehigh is undoubtedly one of the UK's most exciting touring theatre companies, specialising in visually stunning, adventurous theatre, ensemble playing and beautiful live music. Its contribution to the UK theatre landscape is such that it is now studied as part of the drama curriculum.

© Steve Tanner

2. Political relevance – what's the world coming to?

The world feels very strange right now. Very cruel, confusing and absurd. This anarchic and apocalyptic musical deals with political corruption and widespread injustice against a backdrop of cracked morality and the fevered need to survive. These themes haven't gone away.

© Steve Tanner

3. A new version of a well-loved and enduring story

Gay's The Beggar's Opera hit an unsuspecting London like a thunderbolt in 1728. Here was an opera about low-born, mucky people doing low-born, mucky things to each other. Brecht adapted the story for The Threepenny Opera in the early twentieth century. Kneehigh's latest version of Gay's classic is anarchic and radical. It will move you, shock you, and make you laugh.

© Steve Tanner

4. The team

It's directed by Kneehigh founder and artistic director Mike Shepherd and written by Carl Grose (recently appointed deputy artistic director), who has written some of Kneehigh's best-loved plays, including The Wild Bride, Tristan and Yseult and The Tin Drum, with music by Charles Hazlewood.

© Steve Tanner

5. The music

Like Gay, celebrated composer and conductor Hazlewood has raided music from all genres to create a terrific score that is performed live by the company on stage. It straddles electro disco, new wave, grime, dubstep, noire, trip hop, punk, ska, as well as the great Purcell, so there really is something for everyone.

© Steve Tanner