From Martyn Rolfe - NODA Eastern November 2010



Director Patrick Monk
Musical Director Karen Smith
Little Theatre, Sheringham. Friday 26th November

On a cold and snowy November night I made my way to the Little Theatre in Sheringham and was glad that I had. The Zoo, with a most unusual storyline, was well sung and gave rise to some lovely cameo roles. Eliza (Beverly Baker) was indeed a virtuous and highly principled Lady, singing and acting her way through the part with ease. Thomas Brown (Andy Weston) the disguised nobleman was so suited to his part, as it gave him the opportunity to display his mastery of the comic G&S character. Laetitia (Gennie Plunkett) looked every inch the innocent young lady and this was complimented by her beautiful singing. The character that I personally enjoyed the most was Mr Grinder (Malcolm Poore) he certainly was an ill tempered grocer and made sure that the audience knew he was.

Trial by Jury is a more well known piece and again offered the many cast members the opportunity to play a small part. The Judge (Andy Weston) was a notable performance and as The Defendant, David Allison was suitably raffish with a soft lyrical voice. The Usher (Keith Swetman) was another highlight with his “Silence in Court” and his unbiased advice, what a good part to play. As with all G&S, the clarity and togetherness of the singing is vital and it seemed that on the opening night there was a little hesitancy in several of the concerted numbers. Overall, I felt the show lacked a little fun and was not helped by the starkness of the stage. The use of large props to help set the scenes would have benefited both pieces. Patrick Monk was directing for the first time and I am sure that he will have been pleased with the end result. The full house audience certainly enjoyed their evening, as did I.

(Report by Martyn Rolfe)