HMS Pinafore and Trial By Jury

Date 28th September 2019
Society Uplands Arts
Venue Taliesin Theatre
Type of Production G&S
Director Leah Collett
Musical Director Roger Hart


Author: Luke Spencer

G&S is alive and well here in South Wales with Uplands Arts championing these wonderful operettas. I have been lucky enough to see a number of productions by this talented company and they never fail to delight their loyal following of G&S fans, myself included.

Having performed in a number of G&S operettas, I know the hard work that has to go into each production and even more so when attempting two operettas in the same evening! Trial By Jury is a short, one act piece and is often coupled with another of the famous duo’s works and on this occasion HMS Pinafore was a good choice.

Both were cast well with Adrian Williams taking on the roles of both the Judge in Trial and Sir Joseph Porter in Pinafore with great aplomb. Cerian Forrest as an excellent Angelina, the Plaintiff, demonstrating a very fine voice indeed and Dean Ward was a convincing Defendant and also played Ralph Rackshaw in Pinafore. Ben Smith was a very amusing Usher in Trial and a good Bob Becket in Pinafore. There were some lovely performances by Ewan Forrest as Counsel and Dick Deadeye in each piece respectively and Dave Brown taking the roles of Foreman and Bill Bobstay. Miranda Millar was a most amusing Cousin Hebe and Andrew Powell as ever gave a splendid performance, this time as Captain Corcoran.

The performances of the night for me were from Claire Atherton as “Dear Little Buttercup” who had great stage presence and excellent comic timing, so very important for G&S, and from Bronwen Beckett as Josephine, once again demonstrating a fine voice and command of the stage.

It would have been nice to see a little more movement, especially in Pinafore, as it was all somewhat static, with both pieces being presented as more of a concert performance than a staged production. I know this is difficult with two pieces to produce, particularly as Trial is so very static anyway, but Pinafore does lend itself to more set and choreography.

That being said, the ensemble was strong vocally and kept exemplary focus on stage. Many thanks to the entire company for an entertaining evening.