"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Monday, June 11, 2012
della Luna at the Civic Theatre
Jim Hutchon was in the 'Church Hall' ...
by Jeff Clarke, the highly talented Opera della Luna took some
liberties with Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance and
brought off a spectacular production without compromising the spirit
of the original.
the Parson’s Pirates, the first half echoes the scene in a hundred
church halls – “Let’s do a musical”. The Vicar (of St.
Michael’s, Under-Ware!!) takes auditions from the congregation –
a fine excuse for schoolboy jokes and a splendid feast of snatches
from Mikado, Gondoliers, Pinafore and others. He assembles a basic
company from the ill-cast hopefuls, and the second half is a
truncated but beautifully-formed version of Pirates.
Vicar (Richard Suart) casts himself as the ‘Modern Major General’
and, with an excellent baritone, delivers the patter song with
clarity and finesse. The young male lead, Jeremy Finch, has a superb
voice with a clear-cut compelling tone, while his opposite number,
Helen Massey, hit the high notes with style and real authority.
Somehow, the cast of six managed to replicate mass battles between
the pirates and police, as well as a bevy of beauteous damsels.
effective small orchestra led by Jeff Clarke and costumes courtesy of
Oxfam, Sue Ryder, British Heart Foundation and Age Concern –