Reviewed by Laraine Ball
A forerunner to HMS Pinafore this play by Gilbert and Sullivan begins to set their inimitable style in a madcap, fun romp involving a love potion that makes everyone who drinks it fall in love with the first person they set eyes on, no matter how unsuitable.
Director Pam Tucker kept the sense of fun with lots of colour and movement; the action moved quickly keeping the audience engaged and the stage was often filled by the large chorus and the dancers cleverly disguised as maids. She also added to the comedy with some clever local references.
Danielle Ruggiero as Aline the young heroine looked lovely in her mauve and pink costumes and showcased her voice and acting beautifully. Chris Anderson as Alexis (Aline’s betrothed) was bold and manly and showed great facial expressions, he also sang very well.
Lauren Scarfe as Constance was a charming lovelorn maiden, excellent in her first major role with the company and Sandra Fameli obviously enjoyed herself as Mrs Partlet her mother.
Aaron MacDonald played John Wellington Wells (the Sorcerer) with just the right amount of swagger and conceit and managed the ‘patter’ song quite well.
Les Nutter was a very sprightly Reverend Dr Daly, Damon Hill was a quite subdued Sir Marmaduke and Christine Southby did well as Lady Sangazure. The Chorus were particularly good in the background, acting well without intruding on the action.
With direction from MD Peter Potts and under the baton of conductor Helen Loveday the orchestra did a fine job and didn’t drown the singing out at all.
The set, a country house frontage looked good and worked well but the trees were a worry, moving all over the stage and some of the costumes did not work and in fact looked quite odd and out of place.
However a good time was had by all, a quite nice entertaining evening.