Date 28th February 2014
Society Alloa Musical Players
Venue Alloa Town Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Lindsey Spowage
Musical Director Hugh MacDonald
Choreographer Antony Carter


Author: Elizabeth Donald

This updated version of the G & S show looked as enjoyable to be in as it was to watch.  Over recent years the company’s singing has developed well under its current MD and the cast sang the familiar songs and harmonies clearly and well.  Jennifer Taylor gave a regal Mabel showing a growing confidence in herself and her singing and was ably supported by her Sisters.  Antony Carter as Fred showed that excellent dance is not his only forte with his voice revealing an impressive range.  Grant Robertson played a flamboyant Pirate King and was more than matched in aggression by a feisty and fine singing Ruth in Alison Wright who was not in the least abashed by her mistake between ‘pilot’ and ‘pirate’.  By comparison, Alan Musgrave played a more subdued Major- General Stanley but rapped out his patter song in style.  The innovations of a Commander Bond played by Stuart Bailey with his Task Force of athletic kung-fu type ladies may not have pleased G & S purists but this reviewer found it a refreshing take on the ‘Policemen’ and a good use of young and enthusiastic female players as was the addition of the energetic and modern dance at the end of Act 1.  The opening scene with Frederick as a little boy and a young Ruth put the ensuing story into perspective and the appearance of a stately Queen Victoria leading a rousing finale also provided a new departure. The two sets, the Rocky Cove and Ruined Family Graveyard, made a good backdrop for the cast and gave room for some creativity with the gravestones. The positioning of cast was done aptly and unobtrusively making all seem natural and with everyone visible. This enabled all - dancers, pirates, General Stanley’s household - to play their roles and enhance the whole performance. Well done to all involved.