Printable CopyPATIENCE
SA Light Opera Society (SALOS)
Latvian Hall
Until 16 Aug 2009

Review by Brian Godfrey

Although originally written as a satire on England’s Aesthetic Movement of the 1870/80’s (where itseemed that every second person was a writer, poet or artist), “Patience or Bunthorne’s Bride” bears allthe hallmarks of its originators, Sir William Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan: a wonderfully frothy,convoluted storyline; a sweet, very innocent heroine; a multitude (supposedly twenty in this case) oflove-sick maidens; the obligatory presence of bumbling authority - usually in the form of soldiers whoseem to have been enlisted for their vocal talents rather than their combat skills; and, of course, veryclever, funny lyrics and extremely melodic music.

SALOS’s version of this little performed gem is competent and enjoyable to watch. The fact that directorPam Tucker has a passion for the works of the comic opera geniuses is very evident. The whole feel ofthe production is as if the audience have been transported back in time to the Savoy Opera - even to thestyle of make-up. The rouge on the soldiers’ cheeks is a great touch; however, the iridescent blue eyeshadowon some of the ladies is not.

Costumes by Pam Tucker and Cyndy Trezise are extremely colourful and great to look at, but seem tobe caught in a rip in the Space/Time Continuum as various eras of costumery history are represented.

Musical Director, Peter Potts, has produced some lovely vocals from the cast (without the aid ofmicrophones - ahh! So refreshing in this modern age!), whilst Melvyn Schlank conducts a small but fineorchestra (although he must learn not to hum along).

Standout principals are Danielle Ruggiero (Patience), Helen Loveday (Lady Angela), Damon Hill(Reginald Bunthorne) and Maria Geraghty (Lady Jane). Ruggiero has a magnificent soprano voice andmarvellous presence but needs to watch her accent (it seems to tour most parts of England). Loveday isa delight and should continue pursuing singing roles, while Geraghty is strong in her vocals and makes asuitably “plain” Jane. Hill is his usual hilarious self, but aided this time by a lovely flowing black wig andthe best purple pant-suit ever!

Able support is given by Aaron MacDonald (Duke Of Dunstable), David Roberts (Colonel Calverley) andPeter Potts (Major Murgatroyd) (watch out for their hilarious trio in Act Two), whilst the rest of the castprove their worth vocally.

Though not faultless, this is an entertaining production and works quite well (especially acoustically) inthe Latvian Hall. “Patience” certainly kept this reviewer from losing his.