The Gondoliers will always be one of my favourite Gilbert & Sullivan shows because of its bright happy tunes and its tongue-in-cheek attitude. This production is fun!
Set in Venice, the story revolves around two Gondoliers, one of whom the Grand Inquisitor believes to be the missing son of the King of Barataria, but he doesn’t know which! The King’s son was stolen while he was an infant and just after being betrothed to the daughter of the Duke of Plaza Toro. The Gondoliers, Marco and Guiseppe, have just decided to pick a bride and marry when the Grand Inquisitor turns up and the stage is set for a merry mix-up!
Pam Tucker has provided a bright stage with many colourful costumes, while Musical Director Helen Loveday has worked to get the best out of the enthusiastic cast. The chorus singing is definitely a strength with some beautiful harmonies.
Damon Hill is at his cheeky best as the Duke of Plaza Toro, ably assisted by Christine Southby as the Duchess. They made a great comic duo.
The carefree Gondoliers were played by Brett Green (Marco) and Graham Loveday (Guiseppe) and both sang well and captured the carefree nature needed.
Their love interests were equally well cast, with Susan Brooke-Smith as Gianetta and Megan Donald as Tessa. They all sang well individually and blended nicely in their group numbers. Loveday did well in the lead for the song Rising Early in the Morning and Green shone with his solo Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes. Donald was in good form with When a Merry Maiden Marries, while Brooke-Smith held her own with Kind Sir, You Cannot Have the Heart.
David Roberts gave his usual solid performance as The Grand Inquisitor; Anthony Little and Katrin Treloar did well as Luiz and Casildaand, and their duet Oh Rapture When Alone Together was lovely.
The dancers from the In Step School of Dance – Hannah Watson, Melissa Dale and Gemma Fakes – were a pretty distraction, but it was lovely to see the entire company engaged in the Cachucha. Full marks to Heather Hutton for the fun choreography.
The attention to comedy and a good pace made for an enjoyable evening.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Venue: Tower Arts Centre, Cnr Goodwood and Daws Roads, Pasadena
Season: 27-31 August 2014
Duration: 2hrs 45
Tickets: $21.00 – $25.00
Bookings: Phone SALOS on 8294 6582 or book through BASS online or phone 131 246