Printable CopyPATIENCE
SA Light Opera Society (SALOS)
Tower Arts Theatre
Until 19 Aug 2018

Review by Fran Edwards

As with every Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, the music is a delight, handled beautifully by Musical Director Danielle Ruggiero-Prior and her orchestra. This is her first production as MD and she does very well. Maria Davis has not directed for SALOS before so this is also a debut. Given the restrictions of a stage without a front curtain, Davis made good use of the minimalist set and a cast who were not designed to dance. However, most can sing very well and the choruses were particularly well received by the audience.

Playing the central figure of Bunthorne (the aesthetic poet) Sean Nugent played up his role but struggled a little with the songs whilst Greg Paterson was in fine voice and enjoyed the comedic aspects of his role as Archibald Grosvenor. Kendall Geisler matched well with both of them as the milkmaid Patience, complete with a country accent. Her solo “Love Is a Plaintive Song” was lovely. These three held together the usual convoluted plot that G & S thrive on.

The lovely ‘young’ ladies were suitably lovelorn and costumed in beautiful jewel tones; the lead ladies displayed very nice vocals. Jane Feast was superb as Lady Jane, her solo “Sad Is That Woman’s Lot” and her duet with Bunthorne “So Go To Him And Say To Him” were both highlights. Lady Angela (Katrin Treloar), Lady Ella (Claire Langford) and Lady Saphir (Justine Lewis) were all in fine voice leading the ladies chorus.

Amongst the Dragoons Colonel Calverley was brought to life by John Wilson with a great sense of fun, whilst James Murphy played a timid Duke and Andrew Trestrail a buffoonish Major. In general the male chorus hammed it up extremely well.

Although not one of the most favoured of the Savoy operas, this one can be fun. Without doubt the words are important – that’s where the comedy is – and better diction would help all concerned. But still it’s still fun for all that.