13:52 Wednesday 19 February 2014

REVIEW: HMS Pinafore with Trial by Jury

Written byDAVE STACEY

HMS Pinafore with Burton Operatic Society HMS Pinafore with Burton Operatic Society

TWO shows in one – both of them tuneful and brimming with comedy – are being presented by Burton Operatic Society at de Ferrers Academy, Harehedge Lane, Horninglow, all this week.

Both are gems by those masters of musical theatre, Gilbert and Sullivan.

Slotted into the two acts of HMS Pinafore is the comic operetta Trial by Jury, presented as entertainment on board the ship.

Thus, in both, we have in a leading role Lee Smith, who brings out all the comedy in his double persona as a humble lovesick seaman aboard Pinafore and defendant in a crazy court case.

Christine Bailey is outstanding in the Pinafore romance with her lovely soprano voice, hitting the high notes beautifully.

Melvyn Edwards, a fine singer and comic actor, is a huge success as the man who rose from polishing admiralty office doorknobs to being ‘commander of the Queen’s navee’ without once going to sea.

Andrew Hambleton, another great singing voice, is impressive as the captain of Pinafore.

Karen Hambleton fits perfectly into the role of Buttercup, a lowly lass with an important secret.

In the Trial by Jury sequence, Mike Storr gives a splendid performance (‘I am a judge and a good judge too!’) while Andy Last is just right for the pompous usher. Laura Hodder as the victim of a breach of promise blows kisses at the jurors and charms them with sultry body language, while Alan Lowe as her counsel manages to be as formidable as the never-serious Gilbertian lyrics allow.

This double treat is too good to miss, thanks in no small measure to the brilliant direction and choreography of Steven Foster and the nine-member orchestra conducted by musical director David Blackwell.

Tickets are available by calling 01283 541552 or by emailing andrews50544@hotmail.com

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