11 June 2009
Sheringham Little Theatre
Impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte saw Gilbert and Sullivan's possibilities and, after the success of Trial by Jury, wanted more. So The Sorcerer, providing a love potion to an entire village, was commissioned.
Not in today's 'A-list' of G&S, it is the base of succeeding Savoy operas and last night The Savoyards gave it another successful revival.
The idea of united love is a wonderful utopia (underlined by some contemporary quips) and the village of Ploverleigh is presumably in the West Country (though Norfolk accents would have worked so well). After a rural opening, Alexis (Patrick Monk), a fine but supercilious tenor, woos Aline (Beverley Baker), who matches him vocally and in upper class twittery and both nicely OTT.
The bridegroom's father, Sir Marmaduke (Keith Swetman) is the country squire to a T with his mannerisms while Pam Warren as Lady Sangazure, the archetypical G&S contralto is much better than most not only vocally but in her plethora of expressions.
The sorcerer, John Wellington Wells (Jonathan Starling), probably a West 'am supporter, is convincing as a salesman and the vicar, Andy Weston, must be a Benny Hill fan.
Director Malcolm Poore's show has a small but strong chorus and MD Karen Smith leads a neat little orchestra. And joy, oh joy, it runs until Saturday, June 13.