It’s a delight to see a classic back on stage, and you don’t get anything more classical as a Gilbert & Sullivan production. Melbourne Opera starts its 2017 season with H.M.S. Pinafore. What a performance it was, the complete production is a delight to the senses. The audience was captivated from the opening scene to the finale, it was extremely well received.
This production keeps very well to the old tradition, with a number of contemporary comical aspects. While the story is old, it’s still quite relatable. Some forgotten aspects are reintroduced, such as the grand finale, which incorporates “Rule Britannia” taken from the 1897 production, as a statement to honour Queen Victoria’s jubilee year.
The staging and choreography by Robert Ray is just brilliant, with a cast of guys (sailors) who can sing, dance and keep time. The energy displayed by everyone is very impressive.
Lauren Ritchie, the Costumer, produced some wonderful work in the design and variations of all the ladies bonnets.
The cast, made the whole performance seem easy and natural; dialogue flowed very well along with the diction, which is quite important in any G&S production.
If you not seen or heard Claire Lyon (Josephine) or Andrea Creighton (Buttercup) before, then this is the production to see them at. Both ladies carry themselves so well, it is not surprising that both of them have such a strong international catalogue.
The star of the performance is indubitably David Gould (The RT. Hon. Sir Joseph Porter). From the moment Gould comes on stage, to the finale, his stage presence is felt. His commanding performance, and comic expressions and timing is masterful. Having the body shape to present a tall lanky First Lord of the Admiralty is exactly what you would expect. His antics, hand gestures and general movements are extremely comical but not silly.
Melbourne Opera are off to a great start in 2017, with a very entertaining production. We are so privileged to see such high calibre performers, in such a classical play.
H.M.S. Pinafore is running a very short season
14th – 18th March at The Athenaeum Theatre.
22nd March at Monash University’s Robert Blackwood Hall.
Photo credit: Robin Halls