”If you please…” One of the things that struck me most about this event was the atmosphere surrounding the Gilbert and Sullivan society. I immediately felt welcome and could see how close the society is, and how hard they must have worked to produce this performance. Another thing that really struck me was the talent of the musicians, who really put their all into it. From Overture to Finale they played consistently well; I am sure Captain Corcoran would salute you! But it didn’t stop there, there really are some remarkable voices in this Society, Sir Joseph Porter KCB (Bozidar Smiljanic) and Ralf Rackstraw (Will Glendinning) really stood out, and definitely deserve a mention. The Chorus of Sailors really filled the stage with their presence and although I am not sure a career in dance is ahead of them, their efforts really enriched the performance.
The acting was second to the singing, the story was clear and energy radiated from the stage, but did not always match the quality of the voices. The musical numbers really flew the flag for this ship; I particularly liked the full Chorus ensembles but the Finale at the end of each act sealed the deal.
Captain’s daughter Josephine, expected to marry a Lord, throws a spanner into the works when she falls in love with one of her father’s crew. Things seem set for disaster as Dick Deadeye plots against them, but through a twist of fate, love wins true in the end! The tale of two lovers, divided by their social class, has been told time and time again but the cast of HMS Pinafore really made it their own. I laughed out loud at the Captain (James Waldron); the programme says James has been ‘vying for a part… since he joined the Society’, I agree with this years director!
The Chorus costumes were simple but effective, there was little use of props as the action needed only movement and voice. The use of dry ice in the second half was an exciting effect – cough cough!
This is an amateur production so don’t expect perfection but you will be entertained. If you don’t like operetta then this wouldn’t be the show for you. However, if you enjoy good music and a jolly cast then I’d recommend hopping aboard HMS Pinafore!
By Charlotte Elver