Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Patience | Grand Theatre

I'm a big fan of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operettas so when I heard that the English Touring Opera were bringing a production of Patience to my local theatre I just knew I had to go. Their work is being performed less and less these days but it will always hold a special place in my heart as I performed in a range of G&S productions, including Patience, during my teenage years. It was wonderful to see a diversified cast (more so than I've generally seen in operettas) and an audience that were truly appreciative of the humour and beautiful music.
Patience is a show that pokes fun at Victorian poets (those Oscar Wilde types) and as a regiment of chaotic military men struggle to understand why women fall at the feet of the effeminate artists - cue much hilarity as the men try to win the hearts of the "lovesick maidens". Lauren Zolezzi, in the lead role as Patience, had a delightful voice and played the part of the naive young girl perfectly. Bradley Travis and Ross Ramgobin were highly amusing as poets Bunthorne and Grosvenor respectively, and their energetic duet in the second act had the audience in stitches.

Other highlights for me included "Sad is that woman's lot" sung by Valerie Reid as Jane, as well as the male trio (pictured above) performed gleefully by Aled Hall, Andrew Slater and Jan Capinski. The true brilliance of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operettas is that they combine melodramatic acting, a silly storyline with witty lyrics and gorgeous orchestral music and this production really did balance all these elements wonderfully. It's such a shame that the audience wasn't bigger as I think that a lot of people would enjoy light operetta if they only gave it a chance, but this is why it is great to see a such a prestigious company as the English Touring Opera performing such works.

The English Touring Opera are performing Patience around the country until June this year so be sure to check out their website for tickets and more details.

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