MD: Ken Mathews Directors: Keith Armitage & Peter Shreyhane
This was a G&S production I’d never seen before – whilst set in the court of 12th century Queen Isabella, it was wrote as a satire on the growing aestheticism movement of the late 19th century – probably quite controversial in its time. Using the proven formula so often employed by G&S of leading characters not ending up with whom they started, or were devoted to, St Andrew’s production was certainly appreciated by the partisan audience.
Personal attendants to Queen Isabella were played by Laura Crawley, Kim Storey, Anna-Maria McCloskey and, talented newcomer to the society, Elizabeth Hamer, each with poise, grace and just a suggestion of being ‘high maintenance’ potential partners to the officers of the Guard played by Paul Bates, Colin Irvine and Philip Hall. Milkmaid Patience played by Bernadette Trotter was the forever smiling love suitor to wandering Troubadour and self confessed ‘beauty’ played by Paul Blakey whilst she was betrothed to the narcissistic poet Bunthorne (played in suitably foppish style by Maurice McShane).
Singing was up to St Andrew’s normal high standard. Set whilst simple lent itself well to the playing area with a built on thrust to the stage. Lighting and technical were seamless and once again Ken Matthew’s orchestra (17 strong) did not overpower the company with their sympathetic rendition of the score. Well done to all concerned.