A packed audience at the opening night of this show at Preston Playhouse enjoyed an exhilarating performance of what is my favourite D’Oyly Carte opera, given by the Preston Gilbert & Sullivan Society.
With Debbie Brotherton leading a vibrant orchestra, the singing throughout was a joy and feet were tapping throughout the theatre as the policemen danced and sang ‘When the foeman bares his steel’.
Andrew Lyon looked the very model of a modern Major General as General Stanley while Robert Feeley had a suitably sinister air in his role as the Pirate King.
The General’s daughters were played by Sally Shaw (Mabel), who gave a poignant rendition of ‘Poor Wandering One’, Keely Lund (Edith), Rowena Parry (Kate) and Amy Hardy (Isabel).
Martin Shaw produced a fine comic performance as the Sergeant of Police, accompanied by his lieutenant (Michael Scott) whilst Lynne Nolan was as outrageous as the pantaloons she wore as the thwarted pirate’s maid, Ruth.
Peter Crichton made an impressive Frederic, notwithstanding his curious Beatles hairpiece, who, released from his apprenticeship as a pirate, falls in love with Mabel.
The cast all looked like they were having a marvellous time and with colourful costumes, fine scenery, first class singing and expert direction by Philip Walsh, this was another triumph for this talented company.