The cast of this well established company gave a solid and enjoyable performance of ‘The Gondoliers’.
The show opened with an on-stage audience entering as if going to the theatre. They excitedly chatted during the overture and then took their seats in the opera boxes at the side of the stage. The on-stage audience added to the impressive sound during some of the ensemble songs and also interjected their thoughts. They shared their chocolates with the cast and one particular member was keen to visit the bar during the interval. I felt it slightly ruined the illusion when the on-stage audience interacted with the cast.
The quantity of costumes was astounding with all members fitted out with wigs and flamboyant outfits particularly at the masquerade ball. The Duchess was modelling a huge dress and the Duke had an interesting wig.
The large ensemble kept in time with each other while having to sing vocally challenging songs and dance energetically. The Director created a good balance between the orchestra and the singers.
Gareth Davies as Don Alhambra Del Bolero, the Grand Inquisitor, was the evil character in this show. He disgusted the audience with his slimy ways towards women with too many cheeky pinches to count. He successfully played a character the audience loves to hate.
All the lead characters were exceptionally strong singers. Simon Prout and Dominic Thomas as Marco and Giuseppe Palmeri seemed like real brothers because of the way their voices blended. They were able to pass the melody to each other flawlessly.
The Gondoliers was written in 1889 but is still enjoyable to audiences today. The Gilbert and Sullivan Fellowship will go on impressing audiences for years to come.