Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's 'The Threepenny Opera' is coming to the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival at the end of this month.

OVO's 'raucous, riotous' musical production will be at the theatre in Bluehouse Hill, St Albans from August 31 to September 6, before moving on to Cornwall and London.

Written in 1928 and set in Victorian London, the musical tells the story of notorious London gangster Macheath - aka Mack the Knife.

Macheath is newly, and unfaithfully, married to Polly Peachum, and her father isn't too happy about it.

Mr Peachum is head of London's beggar mafia and proprietor of the shady establishment 'The Beggar's Friend'.

Certain that Macheath will affect his nefarious but profitable pick-pocketing and begging business, he decides to get him out of the way, without fully realising just how well the gangster is connected.

Adam Nichols, artistic director of OVO and the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival, said:  "The Threepenny Opera is such a great story with some deliciously meaty characters and a wonderful score – all of which have endured and continued to entertain audiences for nearly a hundred years. 

"We have an excellent cast who will be doubling up as musicians and I’m confident our production will work brilliantly at the Roman Theatre on our specially constructed thrust stage which reaches out to a capacity audience of 250 per performance. 


"The audience will feel completely immersed in the production and may have to watch out because there will be (fake) pickpockets about!"

The production stars Peter Watts as Macheath, Emily Panes as Polly Peachum, Mark Carlisle as Jonathan Peachum and Emilia Harrild as Lucy Brown.

Soprano Julia Mintzer has co-directed the musical, with Lada Valešová as musical director and conductor.

Adam said: "Our cast is a mixture of OVO regulars and quite a few newcomers.

"We wanted a mixture of people who were 'actors who can sing', experienced musical theatre performers and others from the world of opera. 

"Most of them are also playing several musical instruments – they’re a supremely talented bunch!"

For tickets and performance times go to