To anyone with a sense of history this is a work, and a production, which grows better and more fascinating with each re-visit. It is, in effect, the first modern musical, and a major influence on all subsequent examples of the genre. Olivier is great in the role of Macheath: he looks the part, he acts the part, and so far as I'm concerned he sings the part. How well is a highwayman supposed to sing? The direction, if perhaps a little slow, is generally excellent, particularly in the group scenes. There is a splendidly atmospheric evocation of the general grubbiness of C18th London low-life. These settings draw extensively on Hogarth, who was strongly influenced by Gay's smash hit --- and not vice versa, as I read somewhere. Gay was dead, destroyed by Prime Minister Walpole, before Hogarth made his big breakthrough in 1733. Macheath, as Hogarth realised, was a parody of Walpole, the "great man". Stanley Holloway and Athene Seyler were terrific stalwarts on the London stage of the era. Tutin, as Polly, is suitably naive and innocent. The other girls are realistically slatternly, quite unlike the usual Hollywood hookers. Sadly, the dvd quality is pretty poor: the colour and the sound are jarringly uneven. Surely it would be possible to remedy this? But I'm not docking any stars for that reason: this is an affectionate production of a true theatrical survivor, and deserves to be seen by anyone capable of discernment.