Don Pasquale at the Norwich Playhouse

The unlikely surroundings of a doner kebab van are the backdrop for an exciting and contemporary version of an operatic classic heading to Norwich Playhouse.

Don Pasquale, Donizetti’s classic story of an old batchelor’s romantic delusions and the young lovers who outwit him, will be set around the takeaway vehicle when it takes to the stage on June 20 and 22.

It is being presented by Welsh National Opera who are returning to the city for the first time in 46 years as part of a new touring partnership with the Playhouse and Norwich Theatre Royal to bring their productions to the city.

For this production of Pasquale, the creative team of director Daisy Evans, musical director Stephen Higgins and designer Loren Elstein decided to rip up the rule book and bring Donizetti’s opera bang up to date to appeal to a brand new audience while also attracting those who know the opera to see this new production.

It is set around a doner kebab van placed in downtown Cardiff positioning the piece very firmly in the modern day.

Andrew Shore portrays the title character who has built up his food business so it does a roaring trade on a Friday night. His nephew Ernesto, played by Nico Darmanin, is a poetry-writing singer-songwriter millennial and comes to stay with him but Don does not want to hand over his business to him.

Pasquale decides he needs to find a wife to inherit his business so Ernesto and his vegan girlfriend Norina, played by Harriet Eyley, feel they need to trick the older man to bring him into the 21st Century and secure their future.

Daisy Evans, who has directed the production and is also the librettist, said: “This Don Pasquale is fresh, contemporary and unique. It has been reimagined for a modern audience and sees current issues driving this classic comedy. Pasquale is proud of his kebab van and the years of services he has provided to late-night revelers in Cardiff but he has grown mean-minded and scared of modernization.

“His nephew Ernesto and his girlfriend Norina stand for the future calling for less plastic use, eco-conscious dining and stripped back design. The two sides are pitted against each other in a comedy that is bound to have you laughing as well as thinking.”

The visit to Norwich Playhouse is part of a UK tour which links in with Welsh National Opera’s commitment to reach a wide range of audiences with a varied operatic repertoire.

They have also confirmed an epic production of The Marriage Of Figaro at Norwich Theatre Royal on April 30 and May 2. 2020.

Don Pasquale, Thursday 20 June and Saturday 22 June at 7.30pm. Tickets £20-£23. Discounts for Under-25s and Students.

To book, log onto www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 598598.