Friend's Email: Subject:I have found a book that I think you would enjoy
The Beggar's Opera (Theatre Classics for the Modern Reader)
The Beggar's Opera - Theatre Classics for the Modern Reader Author:John Gay, Edited by Benamin W. Griffith A ballad opera in three acts by John Gay, performed at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre, London, in 1728 and published in the same year. The work combines comedy and political satire in prose interspersed with songs set to contemporary and traditional English, Irish, Scottish, and French tunes. In it, Gay portrays the lives of a group of thieves and... more » prostitutes in 18th-century London. The action centers on Peachum, a fence for stolen goods; Polly, his daughter; and Macheath, a highwayman. Gay caricatures the government, fashionable society, marriage, and Italian operatic style. Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill based their ballad opera Die Dreigroschenoper (1928; The Threepenny Opera) on Gay's work.
The tale of Peachum, thief-taker and informer, conspiring to send the dashing and promiscuous highwayman Macheath to the gallows, became the theatrical sensation of the eighteenth century. In "Beggar's Opera", John Gay turned conventions of Italian opera riotously upside-down, instead using traditional popular ballads and street tunes, while also indulging in political satire at the expense of the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. Gay's highly original depiction of the thieves, informers, prostitutes and highwaymen thronging the slums and prisons of the corrupt London underworld proved brilliantly successful in exposing the dark side of a corrupt and jaded society.« less