latest production of the Gilbert and Sullivan light opera, "The
Pirates of Penzance", by the Marton Parish Church Choral and
Operatic Society started upon its five-nights run last night at
the Marton Parish Hall.
Its delightful whimsicality and dainty
and melodious music were a source of pleasure to a fairly large
The producer, Mr Sidney King, an old Savoyard, has
again achieved a big success.
The company is restricted to a
comparitively small stage, but they triumphed over this difficulty,
and gave an enjoyable and impressive performance.
Mr W Hogarth
is directing the opera, and it is evident that a great deal of care
has been expended in preparing both principals and chorus.
has the assistance of Mr A C Bitelli as the leader of the orchestra,
while the pianoforte accompanists are Miss R Nelson and Miss K Watts.
scenery, again by Mr A Howarth, and the lighting effects, contribute
considerably to the success of the production - that and the music
of the second act, in particular.
Gothic arches of the ruined chapel, beneath which the Major-General
sits in his dressing-gown in the moonlight, muttering over his ancestors
and his escutcheon, make a delightful picture.
The joyous "Paradox"
trio, the exquisite duet for Mabel and Frederic, the Major-General's
ballad ("Sighing Softly") and its choral refrain, the
drollery of the choral entry of the Pirates ("With Cat-like
Tread"), the Sergeant's song and Policemen's Chorus - these
are a few of the rich moments in which this perfect act abounds.
the first act, depicting a rocky seashore in Cornwall, the famous
and all too short choral apostrophe sung by the whole company, and
hailing poetry as a "divine emollient", might have been
written by Mozart.
Then we have the Major-General's celebrated
patter song, and Mabel's song, "Poor Wandering One", providing
the singer with a fine opportunity for brilliant vocalisation. All
these left a vivid impression upon us.
The solemnity of the police,
the skittish behaviour of Ruth, the maid-of-all-work, the Pirates
who turn out to be noblemen who have gone wrong, and the Major-General
who thereupon offers his daughters as brides all add laughter to
this merry farce.
Excellent work is
done by the principals.
Cyril Berry gives a delightful performance
as the Major-General, and Fowler Wade, as the head of the Pirates,
takes his "profession" quite seriously.
eldest daughter is well played and sung by Jennifer North, and Peggy
Cardwell is well cast as Ruth, the maid.
Jack Spenser's portrayal
of Frederic the Pirate apprentice, is most effective; so, too, is
the Sergeant of Police as played by Harold Holden and the Pirate
King's lieutenant, by Norman Andrew.
Ruby Hill, Mabel Oldfield,
and Audrey Ambler, as the General's other daughters, sung and played
their parts well.
The Chorus work, a feature
as usual, is capitally undertaken by...[the article concludes
with a list of choristers, officials and helpers]