Director - Max Bullough
Musical Director - Martin Paterson
Choreography - Suzanne Hall
By Gilbert and Sullivan
Sir Marmaduke - Clive Hilton
Alexis - Dan Hickson
Dr Daly - Tony Blackshaw
Notary - Mike Palette
John Wellington Wells - Adrian Hickford
Lady Sangazure - Joyce Smith
Aline - Katie Hickson
Mrs Partlet - Liz Petley Jones
Constance - Helen O'Sullivan
Old Hercules - Mike Vokes
Residents and Staff
Sue Aiken, David Anderson, Gill Beck, Jo Blackwell, Clare Britton, Samantha Bushell, Amanda Crane, Anne Croudass, Pam Farren, Jill Fitzpatrick, Lizzie Gilbert, Jan Gwynne-Howell, Talia Hedstrom, Annette Hilton, Louise Hodson, Bob Jones, Graham Light, Alan Matheson, Rosemary Merchant, Colin Paice, Heather Reid, David Rowe, Gill Russell, Claire Smith, Frances Stirrup, Vernon Tottle,
Mary Twomey, Mike Vokes
There were laughs a-plenty at Winchester Operatic Society's latest offering of Gilbert and Sullivan at the Theatre Royal last night (Tuesday April 29).
The Sorcerer is not one of the duo's best know operettas but it us certainly as tight and comical as it's better known siblings.
It tells the tale of Alexis (Dan Hickson) and Aline (Katie Hickson) two of the most eligible youngsters in The Village, who are to be married amidst general rejoicing and feasting on the lawn of an old people's home.
Alexis decides that, to ensure true and everlasting love, the couple should drink a love potion, administered by The Sorcerer, Mr John Wellington Wells (Adrian Hickford). The potion has the effect of making its victim fall in love with the first person they see upon reawakening. When the residents of The Village drink tea laced with the mixture from a communal teapot, it is not always their intended whom they see on waking up. Mostly comedy, with a hint of tragedy, are the inevitable results.
It is rare, even in light opera, to hear every word, but the cast were as clear as a bell, the chorus got into the spirit of mischief and juxtaposition, and the theatre's intimacy was quickly embraced by the company to establish a rapport with the audience.
The principle players, Dan and Katie Hickson, a husband and wife team in real life, carried the production well with a convincing performance and strong voices. Performances that stood out for me came from Adrian Hickford as The Sorcerer, Tony Blackshaw as vicar Dr Daly and Joyce Smith as Lady Annabella Sangazure.
Director Max Bullough used The Sorcerer character to add a touch of the 21st Century to this production by making him up to look very similar to the Little Britain character, hypnotist Kenny Craig, and giving him some nicely crafted adlibs that mentioned Winchester. Hickford obviously relished the role and his comic timing was brilliant. The same can be said for Joyce Smith who played his unfortunate admirer, Lady Annabella. She chased Mr Wellington Wells admirably. Tony Blackshaw played lonely hearted, and slightly lecherous, vicar Dr Daly very convincingly. At no point was the audience disgusted by the character, but he did make them squirm, as well as chuckle, on more than one occasion.
All in all this was a great way to spend a rainy Tuesday evening and the production is well worth a look.
The Sorcerer runs at Winchester's Theatre Royal until Saturday May 3.
For more information contact the theatre's box office on 01962 840440 or visit