If you are ever going to see Patience, this is definitely the place to see it! The striking architecture and unconventional décor of St Barnabas Church, founded by two leading members of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, is the perfect setting for this Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, with its focus on the aesthetic movement. It is an eminently watchable production. The cast are costumed perfectly, the Victorian fan-girls sighing picturesquely, with their flowing locks and draped William Morris prints, the foppish poets posing in green and purple velvet.
All the performances were strong. Samuel Lane was skin-crawlingly creepy in his role of Reginald Bunthorne, trying to make love to the naïve milkmaid, beautifully portrayed by Sofia Kirwan-Baez.
This is not my favourite, nor the funniest, Gilbert and Sullivan operetta but the cast worked hard to pull out all the comedic stops. We particularly enjoyed the sight of Major Murgatroyd (David Garrick), stepping out of his comfort zone in his attempt to impress the ladies, trying to be "both angular and flat"; Miriam Thiede's over-ripe Lady Jane; and Oscar Hansen's narcissistic Archibald Grosvenor.
Although the principals were good, this is a production where the chorus deserves particular recognition. The whole cast pulled together perfectly. All the maidens were wonderful and all the Heavy Dragoons were superb, without exception. Particular mention should go to Alexander Addison, a loyal member of the chorus, who is unfailingly entertaining: having a chorus composed of such strong performers as this, each developing their own distinct and comic personalities, gives the OUGSS shows a real lift.