Presented by The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of SA
Reviewed 1 May 2019
I can’t think of a better way to cheer up a cold and wet evening than little G & S and HMS Pinafore must be one of the most popular! The silly story of love outside of your station in life has no violence, no monsters (Dick Deadeye isn’t all that bad) and the worst swear word you will hear is Damn (hardly ever!). However, the wit, the fun and the beautiful music is all there as fresh as when the masters penned this piece.
Barry Hill, with the aid of his Musical Director Jacqui Maynard and choreographer Celeste Barone, has assembled a fine cast with a good orchestra to back it. The wonderful set looks like it could set sail right now and the plethora of Union Jacks leaves the audience in no doubt about where it is set. The costume team did a fine job making the clothes fit the era with attention to uniforms and style. Sir Joseph’s sisters, cousins and aunts were prettily decked out and Josephine was modestly attractive.
Hill schooled his cast to bring out the wit and humour and Brad Martin enjoyed himself playing up Sir Joseph Porter (Rt Hon KGB Lord of the Admiralty) – his nuanced performance was a delight. As Captain Corcoran, David Visentin hit the right balance between pompous and kindly. His duet with Little Buttercup (Eve McMilan) Things Are Seldom What They Seem, and the other with Dick Deadeye, Kind Captain I’ve Important Information both work really well.
Eve McMilan delivers I’m Called Little Buttercup sweetly with tongue in cheek and David Rapkin manages to be undesirable without being too horrid. Ian Brown and Nick Coxhill sing well as the Boatswain and Carpenter’s mate, providing a strong base for the fine male chorus. Jemimah Lanyon is just bossy enough as cousin Hebe and the ladies chorus harmonises well.
As the young lovers James Nicholson (Ralph Rackstraw) and Megan Doherty (Josephine) both sing with feeling and have lovely voices, a little more emotion between them would have played up the comedy more, but I really don’t have much of a complaint.
Hurry to get your tickets for the very short season; it’s just the thing to make you forget the weather!
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Venue: Arts Theatre
Season: 1-4 May 2019
Duration: 2.5 hr
Tickets: $15 – $36
Bookings: Phone 8447 7239 or http://www.gandssa.com.au/buy-tickets/
Arts Theatre, WS Gilbert, Arthur Sullivan, G & S Society of SA, Barry Hill, Jacqui Maynard, Celeste Barone, Brad Martin, David Visentin, James Nicholson, David Rapkin, Ian Brown, Nick Coxhill, Megan Doherty, Jemimah Lanyon, Eve McMillan