The Sorcerer

Date 9th March 2023
Society Kirkcaldy G & S Society
Venue The Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy
Type of Production Opera
Director Robin Ożóg
Musical Director Hamish Bailie


Author: Mike Pendlowski

“The Sorcerer” has (undeservedly in my opinion) become one of the less frequently performed G&S operettas.  Sadly, since it contains wonderful melodies, which, combined with a typical Gilbertian convoluted plot, makes for  a most enjoyable evening of entertainment.  

The opening chorus tonight set the standard for the evening with a fine rendition of “Ring Forth Ye Bells” by the ten men and ten ladies in the KGASS chorus.  Director, Robin Ożóg, used the stage space wisely, with a remarkable number of entrances and exits available albeit this was a space within a working Church.   Nods towards the exterior of Sir Marmaduke’s Mansion setting were happily achieved with some balustrading and garden greenery.  This, together with projected windows, went far to confirming the setting.

Alexis (Nick Temperley), resplendent in Grenadier Guards mess kit, and a lovely Aline (Erin Sammutt), our betrothed couple, showed confidence in their acting and singing abilities. Their respective parents, Sir Marmaduke (Robin Ożóg) and Lady Sangazure (Elaine Young) gave excellent performances commensurate with their individual years of experience in the Fife, and wider, performing scene.   Dr Daly (Tom Kelman), as the clumsy, verbose, Vicar of Ploverleigh, interacted well with Constance (Louise Gibson), the tearful daughter of Mrs Partlet (Kathleen Brown), pining for the attentions of Dr Daly – without success!  John Wellington Wells (Gordon Horne) – the Sorcerer of the title -  gave a magnificent portrayal as the head of the Family Sorcery business of the same name.  Gordon managed to combine eeriness with just the right amount of eccentricity and to retain these throughout.  His ability to enunciate his way through what is arguably the trickiest patter song in the G&S repertoire was first class.   JWW is usually aided and abetted with pyrotechnics galore in the Incantation scene, but, I would imagine, with thought given to the Church property, this was omitted. Instead, some planned mysterious lighting together with projected forked lightning effects gave sufficient atmosphere to this well-delivered number. The supporting principal roles of the Notary and the Lawyer played by Jack Archibald and Stuart Brown respectively, both added in their own way to a superb evening’s entertainment.

As mentioned earlier, the set elements confirmed the necessary location, whilst good lighting (I could see everybody when required) gave no concern for the technical side of the production.   The in-house stage lighting in the venue is minimal, but the added equipment for this show gave that extra lift necessary.  Sound, too, was hired in and was well worth it, just helping out some of the voices in this very spacious room.

Well done to Director, Robin Ożóg, and Musical Director, Hamish Baillie, who put the KGASS cast through their paces with obvious success.    Also to pianists Robert Gardner and Douglas Clark  who formed the orchestra tonight.

I look forward to seeing KGASS back in their traditional home next year!