12th February 2015
Aireborough G & S Society
Yeadon Town Hall
Type of Production
Gilbert and Sullivan
Author: Sally Holmes
In the village of Ploverleigh everyone is there to celebrate the betrothal of Alexis (Paul Richmond) and Aline (Elaine Richdmond).
Alexis is obsessed with idea of love levelling all ranks and social distinctions. To promote his beliefs, he invites the proprietor of J. W. Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers, to brew a love potion. This causes everyone in the village to fall in love with the first person they see and results in the pairing of comically mismatched couples. In the end, Wells must sacrifice his life to break the spell.
These two experienced leads were well supported by Gillian Fawcett as Constance,(daughter of Mrs Partlet) who portrayed a likeable character with a lovely tone to her singing. Rodney Roberts as Dr Daly, the Vicar and Martin Campey as Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre gave confident performances.
Andrew Baxter was outstanding as John Wellington Wells (The Sorcerer). His comic character caused chaos and mischief throughout the entire village. He sang “My name is John Wellington Wells” at such speed – and with great clarity. His diction was excellent the whole time – superbly played! Lady Sangazure played by Joan Tattersall was excellent. She has a beautiful rich tone to her voice, and you could hear every word that she sang. The duets with Sir Marmaduke and John Wellington Wells were highlights.
There were lovely cameo roles by Margaret Barnes (Mrs Partlett) and Michael Fawcett (Notary).The chorus work was marvellous with beautiful harmonies. The orchestra was under the expert direction of Maureen Earl and sounded splendid.
The costumes were so elegant and added much characterisation to the piece. They were all 1920’s style, and the whole look was absolutely stunning. Ian Stead Costumiers and Society members Janice Summers and Jane Clough are to be congratulated for Costumes, and Barbara Matthews for the wigs and hairstyles. The attention to detail was excellent.
The set was stunning – a marquee erected for betrothal celebrations, where all the action took place. It looked simple and effective, and was enhanced by striking lighting (Paul Dennison) and excellent sound (John Trenouth).
The whole production was directed by Andy Lunn, who is to be congratulated on bringing this magical story to life. As with a lot of Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas there are elements of chaos and comedy – but of course all turns out fine in the end!