A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

Date 23rd November 2013
Society Richmond Operatic Society
Venue Royal Georgian Theatre, Richmond
Type of Production Musical
Director Gary Winn
Musical Director Jonathan Heitler


Author: Peter Parlour

The show got off to great start with the star of the show, Dan Cockett,  who played Pseudolu. He was never off the stage and was excellent. The show is set in ancient Rome, and tells the story of Pseudolus, a slave, and his bid for freedom by helping his young master, Hero, played by Nicholas Heitler, to win Philia, the girl next door. Unfortunately, she is already spoken for by the  Roman Captain, Miles Glorious, very well played by John  Holliday.  This is where it begins to become hilarious, involving love potions,  eunuch, (very well played by Linda Baldry, Gail Barlow, Rhoda  Fraser, Andy Myers and Jean Robinson), an old man, Erronius, very well played by Doug Clayton, who is searching for his lost children stolen in infancy by Pirates, and sent to run around the hills of Rome a few times.  Senex, played by Lou Holliday, is also trying to claim the girl from next door, a house of ill repute owned by Lycus, played by Grant Dalton, occupied several courtesans, played by Pam Walker, Helen Cain, Joanne Wilkinson ,Angie Moore, Karen Brunyee, Nicola Stephenson and Amy Swales.

Hysterium, valet to the Senex household,excellently played by Dan Connolly, didn’t know what to make of all the goings  on, particularly when they all seemed to be dressed as bride. When the Captain arrived back he didn't  know what to do, and who to claim as his Bride.  When the old man turned up after running round the mountain he found his lost children.  Senex’s wife Domina, played by Julie Winn, was unaware of all the goings on because she left to go visiting. 

This was a show with clever lyrics, good music (rather complex), a hilarious story with fantastic characters, is not often performed by Societies, but is well worth it.  Jonathan Heitler and his small ensemble did very well with the rather complex score.  A simple set was just right for this show. Gary Winn realised his ambition to direct this show, and must have been very pleased with the result, and doing most of the planning. Very well done everybody, for such an enjoyable evening.