|Date||21st March 2018|
|Society||Wolverton G & S Society|
|Type of Production||G&S|
|Musical Director||Ros Whatmore|
|Choreographer||Chris Bradley and Jo Bigg|
Author: Jenny Chandler
Set in the beautiful city of Venice and the mythcal land of Barataria, The Gondoliers originally staged in 1889was the last genuine success in the Gilbert and Sullivan catalogue. Gilbert had used a similar storyline before - babies mixed up at birth, one high born and the other more lowly with a twist n the tale at the finale.
The melodies and libretto were livelyandtuneful and became very popular - Dance A Cachucha, Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes, and Then One of Us are just three of them.
Wolverton's production was played at a good pace. The society has some well-established members and the principals all gave confident, strong performances as I expected with good support from both chorus and orchestra (conducted by director Mike Crofts). I thought Alan Bennett's Grand Inquisitor had the right amount of gravity with an underlying threat and was rather spendidly costumed. I also enjoyed the performance of Luis Orozco as Luiz - a promising tenor voice.
The show opened brightly, as befits a sun-drenched Venice with the chorus singing List and Learn. This was followed nicely by a change of mood with the arrival of the Duke of Plaza-Toro and entourage. One of my favourite pieces in any Gilbert and Sullivan show has been the quartets and I thought Then One of Us and In a Contemplative Fashion were particularly well-delivered.
The settings, lighting and sound were very good. The two sets were well appointed and added much to the ambience of the show. The costumes were all really colourful though I think could have been improved by the use of more substantial wigs. The whole piece was well-supported by an efficient backstage team.
Overall I enjoyed this production very much. It was full of musicality and colour as I feel Gilbert and Sullivan intended. Congratulations on the surprising unveiling of Inez - a great twist in the tail!! Thank you too to Clarence, who made us feel very welcome. Good luck with all your future shows