HMS Pinafore

Date 16th March 2018
Society Hereford Gilbert & Sullivan Operatic Society
Venue Courtyard Theatre, Hereford
Type of Production Musical
Director Alistair Donkin
Musical Director Alan Durman
Choreographer Alistair Donkin


Author: Louise Hickey

How pleasing to see so many young members enjoying Gilbert and Sullivan! It is even more pleasing to see that some of the young men and women had moved into principal roles. Jordan Bryan as Ralph Rackstraw and Hannah Roper as Josephine, were very well matched and commanded their roles admirably (see what I did then) Hannah is a beautiful soprano who sang every number without effort.

Richard Hichens and Gill Haslam were great as Captain Corcoran and Buttercup respectively, Gill always has me smiling with her easy portrayal of the woman who has made the mistake that leads to the happy ending. It was for the audience to stretch their imagination however, when Buttercup explained that Captain Corcoran and Ralph had inadvertently been switched as children, but that’s G&S for you…

I hope not to offend Ian Roper when I say this is the best role I have seen him in. He remained in character throughout as Dick Deadeye; his assumed body shape and facial expression never faltered, and he really was an unpleasant member of the crew. Joe Wong and Eduards Ceplenieks as Bill Bobstay and Bob Becket complimented Jordan in age and talent and the three young men will, hopefully, go from strength to strength. Felicity Williams is another young member who will be seen again I hope, following her supporting role as Cousin Hebe.  Alan Durman was fabulous as Sir Joseph Porter and was perfect in this role. His physical adroitness added to his performance too. The repeated reprise of ‘Never mind the why and wherefore’ was so funny and very well executed by Alan, Hannah and Richard. The audience loved it.

Whilst Alistair Donkin brings a sparkling touch of D’Oyly Carte to Hereford with his slick and precise directorship, the musical directorship from Alan Durman matched this in spades. The arrangements in this production were superb. The A Capella number led by Jordan, Joe and Eduards was incredibly beautiful and worked exceptionally well. The musical direction overall was perfect and a fitting culmination to the leadership by Alan as he hands the baton to Hannah Roper who takes over as musical director later in the year. Whilst Alan retires from this role he will thankfully still be an active member of the society.

The scenery, lighting and sound added the final touches to what was a great production and a lovely evening. Thank you all very much.