Songs of Love and Marriage and “Trial by Jury” (2019)

This year we started a new style of production, in which we featured selections from various shows on the theme of “Love and Marriage”.  In the First Act we told the story of couples falling in love based on scenes from The Gondoliers, The Sorcerer, The Mikado and HMS Pinafore, all leading up to the anticipated happy wedding.  However at the start of Act 2, we discovered that the bride had been jilted at the altar and was suing her perjured lover in court for breach of promise in “Trial by Jury”

The following report was provided by NODA following their attendance at the show –

This presentation of “Songs of Love & Marriage” followed by “Trial By Jury” was a unique concept for the society. This is the first production in a new format to allow the society to continue to use the talents of its members to bring the G&S genre to the stage. It was apparent, from the new style of production I saw, that this new format really works – there was renewed vigour amongst the entire cast.

In act 1, the well devised “Songs of Love & Marriage” brought us song and choruses on the theme of love and marriage – from The Gondoliers, The Sorcerer, The Mikado & HMS Pinafore. The singing was absolutely superb – with brilliant solo performances from Paul Richmond, Michael Fawcett, John Tattersall, Elaine Richmond, Gillian Fawcett, Pam Barlow, Stella Whitehouse & Joan Tattersall – to name but a few.

This is one of those evenings when you are lucky to get two for the price of one! After the interval the cast brought us “Trial By Jury” – which tells us the absurdities that can come from a case of breach of promise. This very strong company carried the short production off superbly, injecting light heartedness and humorous moments which were enjoyed by all.

Once again, the singing was simply superb from both principles and chorus alike – the thing that particularly struck me was that whilst this may have been considered by many as a “static” production (i.e. takes place in a court room setting with the majority of cast sitting throughout) there were so many wonderful characterisations across the whole cast, with brilliant interactions throughout the whole sung piece.

There was not a single weak link; all had good and very clear diction, great facial expressions and excellent reactions. Costumes, hair/wigs and makeup were visually stunning – congratulations to the make up and costume team Lighting and sound were excellent throughout the production – the sound particularly is “key” to any G&S production where clarity of diction is required. Congratulations must go to Margaret Barnes as Director, and Jim Newby (MD) and his excellent orchestra.