Here we are at the last performance already ! Where did the two weeks go ? It has been a tremendous show, full of the most amazing chorus singing and bursting with principal vocal magnificence and hilarious humour !
It was a full house in Eden Court Theatre at Inverness, which gives such a wonderful buzz to the singers - it costs a great deal for an amateur non profit making company to pay the costs for this evening, but this is so greatly offset by the experience of working in the world of Real Theatre for all aspirant professionals and mature (most definitely) non aspirant professionals !
The comedy has grown and evolved through the week run, and we had some very interesting additions to the Duke's dialogue, including references to 'drag acts' and ' rollicking sauce box' in reference to his daughter Casilda ! The audiences have been weeping with laughter..........
The set of lovers are stupendous. Katy and Charlotte as Marco and Giuseppe are the rocks of the show - they stitch together the whole show, keeping all excited and enthusiastic with their sheer joy and fire. The young girls Naomi and Mhairi who at 17 years old are giving such wonderfully poised and professional performances as Gianetta and Tessa, what stars of tomorrow.
The Duke and Duchess, Mark and Morag are stupendous - now I realise the superlatives are on a roll, but it would be churlish not to use them ! The Duchess is solid as the mountain Blaven, keeping what control she can over the Duke and her errant and spoilt daughter, played so beautifully and with such maturity by Ailish, and at only 15 ! Luiz is played by Naomi the second ! She gallantly stepped in at three weeks notice and has worked very hard to learn all the music and moves, and should be very proud of her lively and witty performance. Ian has surpassed himself playing Don Alhambra, is is a big role and needs to be strong and quite sinister. Ian could never be 'sinister', but he is relishing the dialogue about the 'torture chamber'.......
All the smaller roles taken by Muirne, Shadri, Sophia, Pam, Kate and Karen are brilliant. They are so breezy, accurate, and really hold the first 20 minutes of the show together. The three young girls are taking their first ever solo roles, and as so begin their apprenticeship to the Katys and Charlottes of the team.
The chorus, who in my shows are ALWAYS the heart and soul of any show, perform with verve, gaiety and fantastic vocal tone. They are like the most amazing backing group to the principals, and I watch them grow and grow, making so much of cameo characters, but gelling like a solid wall when needed. Sometimes the sound is so spiritually uplifting.
There are those who deny the value and musical wit of Gilbert and Sullivan, and yet many of the greatest British singers were weaned upon this tradition, and have learnt their craft through the medium of G&S. Infact, I, and Inner Sound had amazing news only yesterday. Tom Colwell, our last years' Ko Ko, Pirate King in 2013 and far too many to mention, other roles over the years texted me and said he had just been taken on by an agent, got an immediate audition and within a couple of days has a contract to cover Marcello at English National Opera !
From the Mikado in the back end of beyond, to the national company of the country in one easy side step. Need I say more !
A FIRST ACT MEDLEY............