The Gondoliers • Glam Adelaide

The Gondoliers

The Gondoliers was Gilbert and Sullivan’s last great success, but as the G&S Society of South Australia celebrate their 75th anniversary, they show that there’s still plenty of life left in the old boys yet.

By

Presented by Gilbert and Sullivan Society
Reviewed Friday 10 August 2012

It's a hard task to keep Gilbert and Sullivan fresh. Their shows have been around since the late 19th Century and their most popular operettas have been done to death. Director and choreographer David Lampard however, proves his worth once again with this new take on The Gondoliers, set in a museum where the paintings of G&S characters come to life.

Assisted by Hayley Horton, with musical direction by Ian Andrew, The Gondoliers is a bright, bubbly interpretation of this enjoyable piece of fluff, enhanced by Lampard's tremendous set design, delightful costuming by Bronwen Major and Dianne Shirley, and some witty mash-ups of other G&S operettas.

The tale follows two brothers, both Venetian Gondoliers who marry their true loves only to discover one of them is of royal decent and already married. With all records lost, the brothers are forced to leave their wives and rule jointly until the truth can be uncovered.

The cast is in fine voice, although diction is often a problem for the chorus, not helped by the volume of the otherwise-excellent orchestra. Vanessa Lee Shirley outshines everyone as the comically overbearing Tessa. Peter Hopkins is also stellar as the Grand Inquisitor but that is no discredit to the strong performances of the other leads, including Lucy Baldock, Patrick Witcombe, Liana Nagy, Hew Wagner and Marco Palmieri.

The Gondoliers was Gilbert and Sullivan's last great success, but as the G&S Society of South Australia celebrate their 75th anniversary, they show that there's still plenty of life left in the old boys yet.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis, Performing Arts Critic, Glam Adelaide.

Gilbert and Sullivan Society website

Venue: Arts Theatre, 53 Angas Street, Adelaide
Season: 10-18 August 2012
Duration: 2hrs 30mins
Tickets: $20.00 – $50.00
Bookings: Online at www.gandssa.com.au, or contact Paula: 8447 7239 or [email protected]

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