Plymouth Gilbert and Sullivan Fellowship present ‘The Yeomen of the Guard’, a bittersweet tale about deceit, love and the inevitable marriages. In the beginning scenes, the cast were held in tableau for a considerable length of time. This was effective in focusing the audience’s attention to the pockets of action within this. The casts’ ability to stay still for so long was impressive with not a twitch or quiver in sight.
All the lead characters had strong voices. ‘I have a song to sing, O!’, perhaps one of the better known songs from this operetta, was performed with jollity by Jack Point (Richard Haighton) and Elsie Maynard (Bianca Phillips). Jack Point, the jester delivered the libretto to great effect causing the audience to laugh at outdated and potentially confusing jokes.
Pheobe Meryll (Helen Haviland) showed us how to unconventionally woo Wilfred the Jailer (Peter Clement) whom she gave her hand but not her heart, not that it mattered to him.
Gilbert and Sullivan are famous for their love of a wordy song and at times the company did struggle to articulate all the words fully. However overall they had a good grasp of the tongue twisters and did well to perform outdated speech in a natural fashion. The harmonies throughout the show were pleasing and the company produced an exciting and full collective sound. The orchestra successfully performed the light and charming music. The lighting was used to great effect throughout, with the night time scenes lit by lanterns, carefully placed on the stage.
Overall it was a strong performance by an experienced and expert company.