A Nice Dilemma & Trial by Jury

Date 21st July 2017
Society Astwood Bank Operatic Society
Venue St. Matthias & St. George Church, Astwood Bank
Type of Production Musical
Director Eleanor Peberdy
Musical Director Helen Deakin
Choreographer n/a


Author: Bruce Wyatt, for Andy Brown

St. Matthias & St. George Church was a splendid venue with great acoustics, which only helped enhance what were already some very good voices. ‘A Nice Dilemma’, written by Mary Dhonau set the scene for the later Trial, as the Court Usher played with great ease by Mike Dhonau, attempted to gather his 12 jury-men from a selection of characters from G&S operettas. The ladies chorus opened the section with ‘Tripping Hither’ from Iolanthe and then followed a selection that fully held our attention including, John Alderson as ‘Capt. Corcoran’, and Melanie Hart as ‘Buttercup’.

Ian Walton as ‘The Pirate King’ gave us a top class ‘Pirate King’, equalled by Mark Tooby’s ‘Major General Stanley’. Then followed ‘Three Little Maids from School’ (Sophie Hill, Roz Chalk and Claire Hardie), almost to be outdone by Richard Needham, Alan Hastings and Sam Smith with a very amusing rendition of ‘I am a Maiden cold and stately’. The section was rounded off in great style with the rich tones of Michael Hawkins’ ‘When Britain Really Ruled the Waves’ from Iolanthe.

Following the interval, ‘Trial by Jury’ was presented with great panache, led of course by the Learned Judge himself – faultlessly played by Michael Faulkner. In fact the entire cast gave a well dressed first class performance with Janna Mutton (The Plaintiff), David Steele (The Defendant), Jean Chalk (Counsel), Mike Dhonau (Usher) and John Alderson (Foreman of the Jury), all backed by a great chorus, led by Helen Deakin as MD and David Arthur on piano. Directed by Eleanor Peberdy all should be pleased with this entertaining performance.