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  • Society presenting two shows for price of one

    Henry James

    TWO shows for the price of one! From the evening of Wednesday, March 20 until the Matinee on Saturday, March 23 Crosby Gilbert and Sullivan Society will be presenting HMS Pinafore and Trial by Jury at the Little Theatre, Southport.

    Crosby Gilbert and Sullivan Society is a long-established Society, its first performance being at the Winter Gardens Theatre in Waterloo in 1951 followed by productions at the Neptune Theatre Liverpool and the Civic Hall, Crosby, finally coming to Southport in 2017 with a performance of Pirates of Penzance.

    HMS Pinafore tells the story of forbidden love between Josephine, the daughter of Captain Corcoran of HMS Pinafore with a lowly sailor on board his ship, Ralph Rackstraw (Josephine and Ralph being played in perfect harmony by Sally Shaw and Peter Crichton.)

    Captain Corcoran, portrayed by Simon Killeen, has his eyes on his daughter marrying the First Lord of the Admiralty, Sir Joseph Porter, KCB, and is appalled that his daughter should want to marry “the meanest tar that crawls the water.”

    Sir Joseph Porter, brought to you by Jonathan Taylor, is proud of his transition from “office boy in an attorney's firm” to his present position of ruler of the Queen’s Navy accompanied by his cousin Hebe (Elaine Williams) and a bevy of sisters, cousins and aunts.

    We must not forget the important roles played by the mean-spirited Dick Deadeye (Ed Davies), the two able seamen Bill and Bob (Brian Tubb and John Groom-Hollis) and young Tom Tucker (Mia Colquhoun); and finally Little Buttercup (Isobel Jenkins), a  Portsmouth Bumboat woman with a dark secret.

    Isobel has just received a NODA award for Most Entertaining Comedy Performance for her portrayal of Mad Margaret in last year's production of Ruddigore.

    In true Gilbertian fashion the plot develops with various twists and turns with memorable tunes and choruses composed by Sullivan, until the final denouement when a surprise revelation changes everything and rank is cast aside to result in a happy ending for all.

    Trial by Jury is a short one act operetta about a lawsuit for Breach of Marriage where the judge and legal system are the objects of light-hearted satire and scorn.

    First performed in 1875 it was the second collaboration of the duo Gilbert and Sullivan following Thespis.

    It was to be the forerunner of many successful operettas still performed today. Because of its 40 minute length it is often performed in conjunction with another operetta.

    The broken-hearted bride (Lindsay Colquhoun) is suing the defendant (Peter Crichton} for having deserted her and turned his affections to another.

    A courtroom drama takes place with somewhat biased dialogue between the counsel for the plaintiff, the defendant and the foreman of the jury (Michael Seagar, Peter Crichton and John Groom-Hollis respectively).

    The learned judge (Jonathan Taylor) providing the perfect solution at the end of the drama.

    Both the above operettas are produced by the very talented Marilyn Taylor with music conducted by the group’s musical directors Chris Larkin and Brian Smith.

    A strong chorus and “excellent” soloists make these shows well worth watching.

    Tickets can be purchased at the Theatre Box Office from Wednesday, March 13 or by telephoning 01704 530521 between 11am and 2.30 pm.

    Meanwhile the SDC Youth Theatre’s production of Nick Dear’s Frankenstein opened at the Little Theatre yesterday (Tuesday) and runs until Saturday (March 16).

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