THEATRE: CURTAIN CALLS

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Chances are, if you know Boito, Laurents and von Hoffmanstahl, it's because of their better known musical partners Verdi, Sondheim and Strauss. Writing an opera libretto or the book of a musical (ie the dramatic spine) tends to be a ticket to obscurity because even when they scribble a success, everyone jumps up and down about the tunes.

Writing words for music, at least doing it well, is one of the hardest jobs in the theatre. Any fool can buy a rhyming dictionary but finding words that support, lift, cradle or enhance music is a rare skill.

Gobbledygook, the latest show from the riotous Gogmagogs - a group of seven young string players - is a wonderful example of composers and lyricists (including Caryl Churchill and Orlando Gough) opening up worlds of possibilities in this field. The evening's runaway success is the fantastically funny "How To Deal With Being Dumped in Eight Easy Movements" by Patrick Barlow and Django Bates. Someone should commission a comic opera from them immediately.

Gobbledygook, Lyric Hammersmith (0181-741 2311) from Tue

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