Victorian drawing room comedy is full of mistaken identity, misplaced love, starchy parents and surprising aunts. All these make welcome appearances in a well rehearsed and highly energetic performance from the OUG&SS that had the audience giggling and guffawing from start to finish. A simple story of a soon to be married young man - with a bit of a past - and his intended bride is spiced with the involvement of a very Galafreian fairy. Add to this a very practical lesson in flexible causality, parallel universes and the interconnectedness of all things and the evening’s entertainment is complete!
The players were splendid; presenting the gentle comedy of misunderstanding and manners in the way that I feel sure Gilbert intended. Little comic vignettes spice the main plot-line: scarily robot-like bridesmaids; droll young men; frankly grim ‘other women’; a fussy bride-to-be and her ‘terribly’ proper papa. All contributed to a splendid evening’s entertainment.
Stand-out performances came from Phil Scott as Walkinshaw – our hero’s rival for the affections of the emotional Jennie, splendidly played by Anna Sowerbutts, and from Nic Ramsden as her long-suffering father: the picture of elegant correctness at all times. Meriel Patrick as Malvina De Vere and Bethany Remely as Delia Spiff were hilariously predatory as women in pursuit of husbands. Chris Outen is also to be congratulated for not only directing the piece but also for his splendid fairy: the characterisation for a tinkerer with time was perfect, Doctor!
Apes, ivory and peacocks – even unto half my kingdom –go to Laith Dilaimi for his splendidly energetic and vocally dextrous portrayal of Foggerty. It is a huge part and contains a number of taxing speeches which he coped with, apparently effortlessly, to great and deserved applause.
All things considered – bloody good fun!