This report appeared in the Gazette...
as ye will there is only one place where 20 lovesick maidens can be found this
week - and that's in the Church Hall, Preston Old-road.
This unlikely bevy
of Fylde talent (especially the one in the lilac dress) as "rapturous maidens"
as the programme for the Marton Parish Church Operatic and Dramatic Society's
programme of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Patience" calls them, are a fair
old curtain raiser.
The thing is that the orchestra have belted through as
lively an overture as you are likely to find this side of the Parisian Music
Halls and instead of joining in the spirit of things and dancing a can-can the
poor dears have all fallen for a fleshly poet.
Such is the stuff that comic
opera is made of and this lively and talented society to a time of joyful costumes,
joyful singing and happy endings (except for the fleshly poet!)
of tougher meat than comedy with 20 lovesick maidens, almost as many love-starved
dragoons, a confused dairymaid and a couple of self-centred poets but all in
all it is as refreshing as anything Gilbert and Sullivan penned - and was received
as such by an almost capacity audience.
Though all the songs are a joy for
fans of the style the chorus pieces must take pride of place for their life
and zest - and quite often the intricacy and cheek of the lyrics.
would risk rhyming "quackery" with "Thackeray" and having
a line such as "the peripatetics of long-haired aesthetics" in the
middle of a song?
Full marks must go to Alan Brown (Colonel Calverley), David
Chard (Major Murgatroyd), Eric Gilfoy (The Duke of Dunstable), John Burn and
Michael Hilton (the two poets), Margaret Elkin (Patience), Marilyn Wilson, Tina
Bywater, Christine Todd and Jacqueline Veazey (the ladies) as well as the rest
of the cast and chorus for a first rate production. -
Until we find more photos of this show,
the identity of the one in the lilac dress must remain a mystery!