From the Gazette & Herald, 15 November 1947...

Not every amateur choral and operatic society is as fortunate as St Paul's Marton in having as its producer a member who has had practical stage experience with Carl Rose and D'Oyly Carte opera companies.

She is Madam Jennifer North, formerly well known as a mezzo-soprano, now Mrs G W Straughton, housewife and mother, of Sullivan Cottage, East Mead, off Park-drive, Marton.

Mrs Straughton is producing her first operetta, Gilbert and Sullivan's "Ruddigore", at the Church Hall, Preston Old-road, on November 24 and all week.

A member of the society since 1932, she is disappointed that this year she will be behind the scenes instead of on the stage.

Her husband, Mr George Straughton, also one-time bass-baritone with Carl Rosa and D'Oyly Carte, will be there on the opening night to cast a not-too-critical eye on the production.

Both have toured all over the country with the opera companies, have appeared in nearly every Gilbert and Sullivan operetta and played in several of the principal parts.

Says Mrs Straughton: "They were really good times, and the Society's productions bring them vividly alive again."


From the Gazette & Herald, 25 November 1947...

Those who favour the more frequently staged Gilbert and Sullivan operas may also agree that Marton Parish Church Choral and Operatic Society's presentation of "Ruddigore" (or "The Witch's Curse") is as musically enchanting as the rest.

Possessing all the requisite qualities no-one should be disappointed with this creditable performance.

Chief credit must go to producer Jennifer North (late D'Oyly Carte Opera Co) and to Musical Director, Mr Leslie Whitaker, for their expert tuition.

The picture gallery scene in Act 2 reveals a professional touch with imaginative use of effective lighting.

The principals are Harry Turner (Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd), William Tillotson (salty Richard Dauntless), William Moister (Sir Despard Murgatroyd of Ruddigore, the wicked baronet), Gladys Metcalfe (Rose Maybud, the winsome village maiden), Mona Etherington (who shines as Mad Margaret), Peggy Cardwell (Dame Hannah, rosy and rotund) and Kenneth Nicholls (the ghost of Sir Roderick Murgatroyd).

A full and rich-voiced chorus provide a colourful canvas for this delicious fabrication.

The production is being staged at the Parish Hall, Preston Old-road, all week.       - D.L.H.