Gilbert and Sullivan's
special brand of gay nonsense proved to be as popular as ever with
the audience at Marton Parish Church Choral and Operatic Society's
streamlined production of "Ruddigore" which began its
week's run at the church hall last night.
story of love and marriage Barbara Darbyshire is the perfect heroine.
She combines a clear, ringing soprano voice, a charming
face and figure, a gift for comedy and a most piquant sauciness
Playing opposite her, Kenneth Nicholls
survives the metamorphosis from diffident village boy to bad baronet
and proves himself to be more than equal to both characters.
His foster brother, a devil-may-care sailor, is played
with panache by Donald Sheerin, whose pleasant tenor and nimble
dancing contibute to the opera's gaiety.
villain of the piece, Sir Despard Murgatroyd, looks properly saturnine,
but proves that he can care deeply for respectability. He
is played by William Moister, and his betrothed, Mad Margaret, last
night's favourite among the younger members of the audience, by
Margaret Hinton's wonderfully
rich contralto makes the best of a small part and Charles G. Kay
is an impressive spectre.
Other principal parts
are played by William Darbyshire, June Bradley and Isabel Nicholls.
The choruses are excellent, particularly the chorus
of out-of -work professional bridesmaids.
the direction of Robert Atherton, the orchestra makes an impressive
contribution to the opera's total effect.
to whom the credit for a smooth and efficient performance must go,
is Jennifer Straughton.
Proceeds of the opera will
go to the church extension fund. M.M.