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Much to savour despite uneven standard

PUBLISHED: 16:33 14 May 2001 | UPDATED: 15:05 22 October 2010

Yeoman of the Guard, Great Yarmouth Gilbert & Sullivan Society @ St George's Theatre, Yarmouth

By MARGARET WILLIS

Yeoman of the Guard, Great Yarmouth Gilbert & Sullivan Society @ St George's Theatre, Yarmouth

Gilbert and Sullivan's choice of the Tower of London in the 16th century as a setting for this opera creates a mood of uneasiness from beginning to end.

Although the standard of singing was uneven, there was much to savour in this production.

Helen Pearce and Suzanne Long were in fine form vocally and dramatically as Elsie and Phoebe. Paul Gooch was outstanding as head gaoler. His towering presence made his delight in the persuasive powers of the thumbscrew and the rack very real.

Trevor Burton exploited fully an extraordinary range of facial expressions and fleet-footedness to demonstrate the skills of a jester. Dorothy Pearce injected a wickedness in her solos as the scheming Dame Carruthers. Chris Steed's performance as Col Fairfax was a trifle laid-back for someone facing the gallows. Steve Holmes, David Arnold, Anthony Pearce and Hannah Long were confident in their roles.

Female soloists outshone their male counterparts and the chorus provided excellent support.

Trevor Thurston and Stella Brownsea were responsible for the stage and musical direction.


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