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The Pirates of Penzance

Date

8th February 2018

Society

Aireborough G & S Society

Venue

Yeadon Town Hall

Type of Production

G&S

Director

Helen Clarke

Musical Director

Colin Akers & Maureen Earl

Report

Author: Sally Holmes

Aireborough Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s 60th Anniversary production of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's comic operetta was beautifully traditional.

The set, which was vibrant and colourful, along with the most stunning costumes enhance the visual quality of the performance.

The outstanding quality of singing was a joy to listen to from start to finish - and this was greatly appreciated by the supportive audience, with long applauses and echo’s of “more” from the audience the night I was there.

The musical direction by Colin Akers ensured that the brilliant orchestra under-scored sympathetically throughout the performance.  From the first note of the overture, it was clear we were in for a treat from this orchestra.

As Frederic, Leon Waksbergs’ performance was strong and was well-matched by that of Rowena Thornton as Mabel, whose voice accomplished those top notes with ease.  

They were well-supported by Joan Tattersall, as Ruth, Frederic's former nurse-maid, who'd mistakenly apprenticed him to the “Pirate” rather than to a pilot!

Donald Stephenson gave a commanding performance as The Pirate King, ably supported by Edward Thornton as his lieutenant Samuel.

John Tattersall was loveable as Major-General Stanley, complete with “medal” wearing teddy bear in Act 2.  He masterfully accomplished his "Model Major-General" song.

It was lovely to see Major-General Stanley’s other daughters (Gillian Fawcett as Edith, Heather Field as Kate and Jane Harmer as Isobel) having fun in their musical numbers “Climbing Over Rocky Mountain” and “How Beautifully Blue the Sky”.  I particularly like the interaction between the daughters and their maids and governesses – and all of their costumes, wigs and accessories were stunning.

Andrew Baxter was excellent as the comical Sergeant of the bungling policemen – I thought the line of policemen in “When The Foeman” was never going to end when they entered the stage – how wonderful to have 24 men in a chorus!  And what a sound they made!!!

The clarity in both spoken and sung word made this show an absolute joy to sit back and watch – everything could be heard (in balance), and diction throughout from every single person on stage was excellent!

Congratulations to Helen Clarke (Director) on such a stunning production – this production is certainly a triumph to celebrate a very special year for the Society.