13 April 2011 WOS Rating: Opera Della Luna have re-staged a lesser known Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, The Sorcerer, which has not been professionally performed except at a Gilbert and Sullivan festival since 1982. This is a real shame as this production has all the charm and wit of the better known shows, and an enchanting plot running through it. In a small rural village, two young lovers become engaged, and wish to share their happiness by making the rest of the villagers fall in love. They achieve this with the help of a sorcerer, John Wellington Wells, but as with all meddlesome plans, things go awry. Opera Della Luna have taken the libretto and, with some tweaking, set it in the midst of the 1970s complete with velvet suits and cheesecloth dresses; and it works amazingly well. Sexual innuendo and seventies idiom abound, but are never played beyond the point of humour. Oliver White and Abigail Iveson as the lovers Alexis and Aline are an attractive couple and both have strong voices. Ian Belsey and Sylvia Clarke play their respective parents, initially seeming to be prudish but showing their true nature as the show progresses. The other members of the cast are Philip Cox, David Freedman, Claire Walters and the always excellent Graham Hoadly as Mrs Partlett. The show is stolen, though, by Fenton Gray as Wells; whose cockney accented, wide-boy sorcerer is a delight to watch. Staged with a small cast and on-stage 'village band', this feels like a large show in an intimate space, and hopefully under Jeff Clarke's solid direction Opera Della Luna will encourage many more people to discover this largely forgotten but very funny Gilbert and Sullivan work. - Helen Jones (Reviewed at the Lowry) Related Content Back to Northwest Homepage
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
: The economic impact of Arts & Culture in the UK Infographic When Culture Secretary Maria Miller called for the arts to make their "economic case" for subsidy, t... Plays Cast: Harry Potter star in Southwark Moment, more for Branagh's Macbeth Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will make her stage d... Brief Encounter with ... The Kite Runner's Ben Turner Ben Turner stars in the stage version of the bestselling book The Kite Runner, which runs at Liverpo... Titus Andronicus (RSC) This latest production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, to borrow from football punditry, is a p... : Britain's outdoor theatres Take Five With half-term approaching, the weather (hopefully) set to improve for the bank holiday weekend and ... West End Live returns to Trafalgar Square next month West End Live, a weekend of free entertainment from top London shows, will return to Trafalgar Squar... : 'I carry the ghost of Gregory Peck on my shoulders' Robert Sean Leonard Actor Robert Sean Leonard is currently playing Atticus Finch in Timothy Sheader's production of To K... To Kill A Mockingbird Twenty years ago, a young Robert Sean Leonard appeared on the London stage with Alan Alda in... X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...