MD: Ken Mathews Directors: Keith Armitage & Peter Shreyhane
HMS Pinafore tells the tale of romance, class, politics and conflict set on the high seas. This G and S classic is full of sweet light humour, very colourful and very British, never fails to delight the audience, and St Andrews Operatic Society certainly would have made Gilbert and Sullivan very proud with their unique interpretation.
This production from the start with the National Anthem to the finale was a polished performance directed by Keith Armitage and Peter Shreyhane. From the start we could see that the cast were enjoying themselves with the opening chorus number “We Sail the Ocean Blue” which set the scene for the rest of the show.
The show was well cast with the lead role of Ralph Rackstraw played by Philip Hall, who had a strong presence throughout, and sang his aria “A Maiden Fair To See” beautifully. Bernadette Trotter, playing Josephine, gave a strong performance and delivered her musical numbers with confidence, especially “Sorry Her Lot Who Loves Too Well”. Captain Corcoran was well portrayed by Richard Straw with a rich singing voice and who gave a strong performance throughout. Keith Armitage played Sir Joseph Porter, delivering his role with great clarity, enunciation, and much humour, and Elizabeth Hamer, playing Hebe, brought the right amount of haughtiness and frustration to her role. Anna Maria McCloskey played Deadeye and gave a sterling performance, being able to add depth and humour to her character. Paul Blakey played Bill Bobstay, and Andrew Cunningham played Bob Becket, both giving strong performances. I particularly liked the trio with Philip Hall “A British Tar” which was sung superbly with the chorus. For me the star of the show was Kathy Price as Little Buttercup. Her voice was beautiful and she played the character part with such aplomb and conviction, delivering her musical numbers “Hail Men-o-wars Men” and “Legend” with such professionalism and commitment. The principals were supported throughout by some excellent chorus singing and not a microphone in sight from the Officers, Ratings, Wrens, Secretaries, Cousins and Aunts and the whole production flowed and was well paced throughout with lots of drama and humour.
The minimum set on stage worked well, and the costumes added to the ambiance. A special mention must go to the 18 piece orchestra under the direction of Ken Matthews and accompanist Pam Bell. It sounded fantastic and kept the show moving along nicely. Overall this was a truly professional performance which was well polished, delivered from a talented cast. All in all an excellent production with lots of enthusiasm and commitment which left the audience feeling very happy by the end of the night.
Phillip Cunningham has kindly given us permission to post his photographs of the production. You’ll find them here (opens in new tab).