"a subversion that hits home"
-The Evening Standard-

"[an] imaginative reworking"
-The Guardian-

"well-sung but misjudged"
-The Stage-

Sorry, Orpheus in the Underworld closed on 28 Nov 2019

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About the show

Catch the shimmering new production that marks director Emma Rice's ENO debut. Operetta Orpheus in the Underworld hangs upon Offenbach’s gorgeous score, and plays at the London Coliseum from 5 October 2019.

The piece is an adaptation of the comic opera Orphée aux enfers which premiered in 1858 Paris. With music by Jacques Offenbach and words by Ludovic Halévy and Hector Crémieux, it is a send up of the famous Greek myth about Orpheus and Eurydice. The ‘Galop Infernal’, better known as the ‘Can-can’, originates from Offenbach’s score.

Why go to Heaven when you can party forever in Hell? Eurydice’s marriage to Orpheus has ended in tragedy, and the poor wretch is fooled into taking Pluto, the ruler of the Underworld, as her lover. Orpheus has a chance to win her back, but not without the help of the majestic but thoroughly bored gods.

Ed Lyon stars as Orpheus alongside Claudia Boyle as Eurydice. Alan Oke plays John Styx and Sir Willard White plays Jupiter. They are joined onstage by ENO Harewood Artists Idunnu Münch and Alex Otterburn and ENO Harewood Artist alumnus Mary Bevan. ENO’s previous Music Director Sian Edwards is the conductor.

Emma Rice set up the theatre company Wise Children, of which she is Artistic Director, in 2018. Her previous directing credits include Brief Encounter and Wise Children.

Don't be left out in the cold. Join the Orpheus in the Underworld party at the London Coliseum from 5 October 2019.

Who Should See It?

Don't miss this chance to see what the pioneering Emma Rice is up to next, especially if you liked her work for Kneehigh or Wise Children. Orpheus in the Underworld can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Playing at

London Coliseum
St Martin's Lane
Seating Plan

London Coliseum seating plan

Booking period

5th Oct 2019

20th Feb 2020

28th Nov 2019

Running time

2 hours 25 minutes


No under 5s