Date 22nd October 2021
Society New Rosemere
Venue Walmsley Parish Hall
Semi Staged Production G&S
Director Hannah Carolan
Musical Director Christine Seager


Author: Liz Hume-Dawson

New Rosemere were one of the unfortunate societies who were just about to perform before we were sent into the first lock-down - and I mean set up and costumes all sorted and ready to go - it must have been a huge disappointment to them as well as their audience who were booked in to see the show.

So, like true stalwarts, they have put the show on again in semi -staged form and with a slight change of cast.

I really liked the cabaret style seating for Patience (or Bunthorne’s Bride) by Gilbert and Sullivan.

Patience is a comic opera and satire on the aesthetic movement of 1870’s England, poking fun at fads, superficiality, vanity and pretentiousness - not much does not get poked fun at in these times.

Christine Seager as musical director glides us through the score with the utmost precision.

Hannah Carolan is the Director and takes on the role of Lady Angela and also on the night - due to illness - some of Lady Saphir’s songs - a true professional in these trying times!

The set was simple: adorned with urns of flowers and two benches. Lighting was also simple and effective and the sound balance good.

The small chorus sat on stage all night re acting to the ongoing action, males stage left and females stage right.

Lady Ella played by Kathrine Seager also took on some of Lady Saphir’s lines in the songs - hats off to people who can do this at short notice!

Heather Nicholas as Lady Jane puts in another comic performance with great timing as woman-desperate-for-man. . . any man!

David Griffiths as The Duke of Dunstable, Mike Nash as Major Murgatroyd and David Twizell as Colonel Calverley conveyed very well men who don’t get what all this aesthetic nonsense is about even though they try to fit in . . . some lovely comic moments there!

Peter Bowden as Reginald Bunthorne belonging to the fleshy school of poets gave me hints of the Emperor’s New Clothes - the maidens hung on his every word without ever seeing the true man . . .some lovely funny moments - give him more comic parts please (nice suit!)?

Tony Norden plays Archibald Grosvenor the Idyllic poet who makes short work of poetry but is in a trap just as Bunthorne is – they attack each other with carefully crafted words but unlike Bunthorne, Grosvenor tires of the maidens following him around and longs for a rest again - some funny moments!

The sounds that were made on the stage were truly lovely and I wonder if anyone has ever done a word count of Gilbert and Sullivan in a song as it is truly astronomical the amount of words one person has got to get out in a single stanza?!

Eleanor Molloy playing Patience was an absolute dream to listen to and watch, capturing her innocence and singing beautifully. She reminded me of Jenny Lind the Swedish nightingale - maybe she would be called the Lancashire nightingale?

The diction that has to be used should be used in a A level drama to get people to annunciate more - the oral dexterity is a wonder!

Thank you for inviting me and making my guest & I feel very welcome