The female members of the cast from the tiniest to the oldest were spectacular. The chorus looked like Edwardian relatives and daughters of the earliest episodes of Downton Abbey crossed with a smigeon of turn of the century Grand Duchess daughters of the last Tsar. The beautiful heavy white cotton with a hint of tasteful white flower on the background, hung so well and gave much opportunity to add tasteful cornflower blue ribbon sashes and white chiffon bows to give it a water colour finish.
The tiniest girls had blue dresses and white aprons with lace edged white bloomers underneath and were such gorgeous visions of decorum, they almost stole the show!
The maids really did look as if they were paid £20 a year and lived in the attic rooms of Downton Abbey, and both A and M were marvellously bossy ! The ladies were so elegant and drank tea from willow pattern cups and saucers, and worked so hard both vocally and in terms of movement. Those four characters were staunch and utterly reliable in every musical moment ! Thanks ladies!
The girls were delightful. It had been more challenging working with some of them, and we had suffered many absences during the rehearsal period, so some of their dance moments needed continuous repetition towards the opening night, but oh my, when the chips were down, and my previous leading lady and Tom's wife, Rhona arrived they began to bubble and sparkle and give of their top notch best !
The smaller roles were played by some of the teens and were beautifully drawn, never over pushed, and sung with simple beauty. I think they learnt a great deal during the show, and their confidence should have been highly boosted. I was very proud of them! The newer and younger girls were delightful, and their characters grew with each performance.
Our leading lady, Lorayne was quite scintillating. Mabel requires top C's upwards to top E flats, notes which pose no problem to her at all. She sparkled and twirled, smiled broad smiles and brought great life to the role, and then just as swiftly had tears falling down her cheeks on saying farewell to Frederick in Act 2. She is a remarkable young singer who continues to develop and blossom in this, still quite new, genre of music. The most astonishing part of her performance is the total commitment and complete involvement in the moment. I feel certain that there is still so much to come, but her silvery tones will ring around those venues for some little while !
It was a dream team of strength and depth, a chorus of energy and fine singing, and to top that we had another of my oldest friends and fine professional accompanist, Julia K to be the solid bedrock upon which the company could stand with unshakable confidence in her support. She brought the whole show together and lead it through the winding paths of the performance with skill and wonderful empathy.
Thank you everybody. I was so very proud of you all.
I must not forget four dazzling young police children who were so on the ball and full of glee every night, and their sturdy Sergeant, played by N who was reprising his role from 8 years ago! What a difference this time, he glowed with confidence and sang with purpose and solidity and not a hint of nervousness! A triumph N !
Job done ! Lets eat !
We had two Major Generals this year, and both did a wonderful job in such different ways. Our dear friend Andy came up to share the role with Laurie. As it turned out Andy did the dress rehearsal and the first night, and then Laurie took over the next four ! Andy did a stalwart and truly traditional G&S job, funny and military and resplendent in fishing apparatus and apparel, and giving the pirate king the run around. We were so glad to see him much more hale and hearty than last year after his serious illness. He is always a great friend and support to Inner Sound.
Laurie was a totally different kettle of fish ! He treated the Pirate King as if he were a rather dim 5 year old, who needed to be spoken to in words of one syllable, and very slowly ! He got so many laughs with his comic timing and thrillingly long pauses which had us on the edge of our seat! He sang beautifully and with immense confidence and like some of the other younger stars, his performing ability grew a musical metre in all directions !
Finale indeed !