What a week that was.
A fantastic time was had by cast, crew and audience at our most recent production, Gilbert & Sullivan's popular comic opera "The Pirates of Penzance" - the Broadway Version.
Below is the review from the Herts Advertiser:
Pirates of Broadway (John Manning)
Even though the Broadway version of Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance may not tick all the right boxes for the purists it is still a thoroughly delightful show.
And although the version the Harpenden Light Operatic Society is putting on is more modern than most productions, it is still tremendous fun.
With its typically complex story complete with a slightly deep and possibly up-to-date political edge, this is a show full of good music and fun.
Putting most of the characters into modern dress did absolutely no harm to Harpenden's version, even though I am
sure some audience members would have preferred to see more traditional costumes.
But the important thing was the quality of performance and the standard of the music and both of these came out with top marks.
Hero, Frederick, played by Andrew Whelan, and heroine Mabel, played by Isobel Handley, were both first class. The two artists had good voices and plenty of acting ability.
Similarly, Tom Handley as the Pirate King and Colette Eagle as Ruth, the possible villains of the piece put in tremendous performances and they were soundly backed by an excellent cast of sisters, pirates and policemen.
But for me the real star of the show was long-standing society member David Crew as Major-General Stanley.
After more than 40 years of treading the boards with society, David's performance was full of confidence yet played with a tremendous freshness and verve as well as fun. It's perhaps worth noting that he has played most of the baritone leads in the society's G&S productions over the years, including the Pirate King.
Director John Hebden presented a thoroughly good show and musical director Graham Thomson managed an extremely good band of musicians - although sometimes their enthusiasm meant it was a little difficult for the audience to hear the singers.
If there problems, they were small and on the technical side and, as I was attending the first night, I am sure this will be solved well before the show at Harpenden Public Halls ends on Saturday.
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