Plays to see: Green Opera @ Grimeborn

Laura Mekhail, the 2021 Andrea Bocelli Foundation-Community Jameel scholar, stars in Jake Heggie's one-act opera 'At the Statue of Venus' as part of a double bill in the return of the Green Opera @ Grimeborn, showing at the Arcola Theatre. Mekhail rises to the technical and emotional demands of her role as a woman waiting for a first date whose typical anxieties around the impending meeting evolve into broader themes of family memory and identity. The classical singer and actress gives a convincing performance in the short opera, taking the audience through an emotional journey that questions what can be expected of ourselves and others in relationships.

Tim Hochstrasser, in his review for Plays to See, a UK-based charity promoting theatre and dialogue about artistic productions around the world, gave the double bill four stars and wrote, "Laura Mekhail plays a woman waiting in a museum for a first date. She goes through the familiar sequence of anxieties about her appearance, whether the date will arrive, and what might happen, before the emotional range broadens to encompass family memory and more complex questions of identity. Ultimately we are invited to ask ourselves what any of us can reasonably expect to give and to receive in relationships. This is a lot to encompass, and Mekhail took us with her all the way, rising to the demanding technical and emotional challenges with rare accomplishment. Hopefully, there will be further performances of this work before long."

Plays To See