|David Cannell (Sir Joseph Porter) and ensemble
and Set Design by Jude Colquhoun – Musical Direction by Matt Greenwood
by Belinda Hassall – Costume Design by Janetta McRae
Design by Jacob Aquilina – Sound Design by Nick Cossart.
The Q –
Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre – 14th to 23rd October,
on 19th October reviewed by Bill Stephens.
|Veronica Thwaites Brown (Buttercup) and ensemble.
it was first presented in 1878, Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera “H.M.S.
Pinafore” has been delighting audiences with its catchy melodies packaged in a
delightfully silly story about a Sea Lord, Sir Joseph Porter, who’s intent on
marrying Josephine, the daughter of the Captain Corcoran, the master of the
H.M.S. Pinafore, despite her lowly rank.
however is in love with Ralph, one of the sailors on the HMS Pinafore, despite
his even lower rank, but feels duty-bound to respect her father’s wishes and
marry Sir Joseph. How this predicament is sorted out is wonderfully implausible
and doesn’t really matter because the whole thing is played out with such
infectious enthusiasm by the whole cast that it is impossible not to just sit
back and enjoy.
Colquhoun has achieved exactly the right tone for her production, which
respects the traditions of Gilbert and Sullivan presentation, with its attractive
setting, colourful costumes and rigid lines for her large chorus. However she
has avoided mustiness by inserting entertaining interpolations for her actors, while
some inventive moves by choreographer Belinda Hassall effectively break up
those rigid chorus lines while still retaining the traditional effect.
|Katrina Wiseman as Josephine
has been fortunate to be able to cast excellent singers in the major roles.
Katrina Wiseman as Josephine and Veronica Thwaites Brown as Buttercup are both
outstanding singers and both embellish their roles with fine comedic
his trifecta of Gilbert & Sullivan patter roles, David Cannell’s outlandish
performance as Sir Joseph Porter is worth the price of admission alone. An
accomplished performer, Cannell’s excellent diction, mastery of the G & S
technique, including writing witty alternate lyrics for his songs, and his
command of the stage, stamps him as an exemplary interpreter of these roles and
his performance is a joy to behold.
|Veronica Thwaites Brown (Buttercup) - Adam Best (Captain Corcoran)
Adam Best as
the bumptious Captain Corcoran and Andrew Finegan as the delightfully fey
object of Josephine’s affections, Ralph, round out a fine principal cast. At
this performance Elliot Cleaves gave an energetic performance as Dick Deadeye,
standing in for Paul Sweeney, while Dale Rheynolds as Hebe, Wally Allington as
the Bosun and Chris Bennie as Tom all participated enthusiastically in the fun.
Particular pleasures of this production was the excellent singing by the large ensemble, and the original orchestral D’Oyly Carte arrangements for the fine orchestra, conducted by Matt Greenwood, which after a painfully out-of-tune first few bars of the overture, quickly settled into providing excellent accompaniment.
Whether or not
you’re a fan of Gilbert & Sullivan operetta’s this delightful production of
one of their most popular comic operas by Queanbeyan Players is thoroughly
recommended as an entertaining night of live theatre.