HMS Pinafore

MICHAEL DRAKE Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich


> Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

Since the first productions, the Savoy operas of Gilbert and Sullivan seem to have had a timelessness for succeeding generations.

While some were brought into the contemporary era of their performance, last night Andy and Julie Weston's direction kept largely to the traditional - albeit that the politics can, with little imagination, be of today.

This was East Norfolk Operatic Society's first production away from a large stage, but despite the theatre's limited space, clever choreography always kept interest alive.

Led by a small orchestra directed by Eric James, Captain Corcoran (Clive Swetman) looked and sounded the part, while Josephine “the lass that loved a sailor” was confidently played by Sue Butcher in charming manner, although a little nervous vocally, but this edge will surely be honed.

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Her sailor (Patrick Monk), who became Captain Ralph, has a pleasant tenor voice, even if lacking in emotion.

That is not a criticism which could be levelled at Ros Wright's convincing projection of Little Buttercup, who ran close to the real stage commander, Robin Collingwood, as Sir Joseph Porter.

He had meticulous timing and diction in a masterful characterisation.

With the sisters, cousins and aunts setting a fashion parade in the strong chorus, this is a happy ship.

t Pinafore is at the Maddermarket until Saturday, May 7.

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