The Seven Deadly Sins

Watch ONDemand

21–23 Nov 2020

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Stream the sins of the city from the stage of Leeds Playhouse direct to your home with Brecht & Weill’s jazzy Seven Deadly Sins ONDemand.

Meet Anna and Anna: one person, two personalities. Sent away for seven years to make money for their struggling family, they journey between seven cities from Philadelphia to San Francisco, and encounter sloth, pride, wrath, gluttony, lust, greed and envy on the way. As they do, they dance, sing, argue and bear the sardonic commentary of their family.

Weill’s playful and shimmering ‘sung ballet’ – his final collaboration with Brecht – is directed and choreographed by Gary Clarke (Street Scene) and features Wallis Giunta (Trouble in Tahiti) and dancer Shelley Eva Haden as the two Annas.

Watch it live online at 6pm on Saturday 21 November, after which you will have access until 11:59pm on Monday 23 November. 

Join in on social media #ONSins

Kurt Weill
Ballet with Singing
Text by Bertolt Brecht
Arrangement for 15 Players by HK Gruber and Christian Muthspiel
Performed in the English translation by Michael Feingold.

This streamed performance of Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins presents a preview of a new arrangement of this work by HK Gruber and Christian Muthspiel, ahead of the arrangement’s scheduled UK premiere by the Royal Opera in spring 2021. We are very grateful to the Royal Opera for facilitating these performances

By arrangement with Schott  Music Ltd agent for The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music and the heirs of Bertolt Brecht.


Read our digital programme »

How to watch
Watch via our ONDemand streaming site until 11:59pm on Monday 23 November. 

Running time
Approximately 40 minutes

Sung in English with English captions

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Anna I sets the scene, explaining the relationship between her and Anna II (that they are actually one person) and their task — to travel and make enough money for their family back in Louisiana to build a little house on the Mississippi River.

Anna’s parents note that she has always been lazy. The family say a prayer that God will keep Anna on the path that leads to prosperity and happiness.

Anna I and Anna II arrive in Memphis and find a job as a cabaret dancer. Anna II tries to turn it into an art, but is scolded by Anna I, as that is not what the paying customers are after and she must give up her pride to give them what they want…

Anna I and Anna II are now in Los Angeles. Anna II witnesses acts of cruelty and rebels against injustice, but Anna I reminds her that such anger will make her unemployable, so she must set it aside.

The family has a letter from Anna in Philadelphia. Anna’s contract specifies that she may not gain any weight. They recall that she loves to eat but trust her to remember that a contract is a contract.

In BostonAnna I and Anna II have attracted a wealthy admirer, but Anna II loves another man, who is poor. Anna I points out that the rich lover will not tolerate divided loyalty, and that they need the money. Anna II rebels, but reluctantly gives in. 

The family learns that Anna is in Baltimore. Men are committing suicide over her, which will increase her earning power, but they fear she will get too greedy. They hope she will not make herself too unpopular to earn money.

In San Francisco, Anna II is worn out and envious of those who do not have to work hard. Anna I preaches of the need to renounce pleasure and promises a reward to come. The family agree, saying that strict self control is the path to glory.

Anna I and Anna II return to Louisiana after seven years. The house is complete.

The Seven Deadly Sins

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