Trinity Methodist Music and Drama
Tony Brett's production turns out to be a traditional, vintage romp through the familiar story. Though the music includes Buble and Beyonce as well as Flanagan and Allen. There's a nod to the Disney show, as well. And of course a generous helping of songs from the shows: Flower Drum Song, Grease, Annie Get Your Gun, Mary Poppins and more ...
There's a great ghost, UV skeletons, a shrinking Wishee and a custard pie. Not to mention a splendid Sand Dance [Wilson Keppell and Betty style] and an impressive production number to Siegfried Line. Cultural references range from policemen on point duty to Pokemon Go.
The settings are simple, with a backcloth which looks as if it's been too often to Twanky's laundry. But the pyrotechnics look good, as do the costumes, with a magnificent walkdown outfit for the Dame.
She's nicely played by Howard Brooks, with George Robey eyebrows and a pleasant baritone. Emma Byatt makes a fine principal boy; her Princess – more fabulous frocks – beautifully sung by Charlotte Reid. Best make-up goes to Paul Osborne's evil Abanazer; Neil Tuttlebury's Emperor is a sadist to rival the Mikado, Alison O'Malley brings an attractive innocence to the mute mime So-Shi. And Alex Wilson works hard as Wishee Washee, forever afraid someone will try to pinch his Pikachu.
Sue Edwards is the MD at the keyboard, with Mark Edwards on the hi-tech drum kit.
It's back to G&S for Trinity's Civic show in May; following their inventive Pirates of 2015, we're promised a fresh look at Trial by Jury and HMS Pinafore, though Music Director Gerald Hindes assures us that Sullivan's music will be heard as the composer intended.
production photograph by Val Scott