Opera Della Luna brings one of the favourite Gilbert and Sullivan productions to the Theatre Royal Bath.
HMS Pinafore, a typical tale of unrequited love, pompousity and general fun is performed in typical Opera Della Luna style with a small company who multi-role their way through this popular operetta.
Rooted in social injustice and accident of birth, HMS Pinafore fits many opportunities for development.
The rich captain’s daughter, Josephine, is in love with a lowly tar, Ralph Rackstraw. Buttercup, a local gypsy, is in love with the Captain and the Captain wants Josephine to marry the head of the British Navy, the vain and self-important Sir Joseph Porter.
After much soul searching and confessions characters find their true love and all ends happily in a typical comic operetta script.
The pop-up style of design works to a certain extent and the onstage orchestra are under the watchful Musical Director Michael Waldron.
The extended mixed images portrayed during the overture is somewhat muddled however, the final static ship setting serves its purpose.
There is no sound amplification so often vocals are hard to distinguish and once backed by the company virtually inaudible.
That said, there are some excellent duets between Georgina Stalbow and Lawrence Olsworth-Peter as the young lovers.
The direction creates a chaotic and often unfocused production, repeated gags are overused and questionable decisions of disability, cross-dressing and wigs for the opening section are irksome and out of place.
The singing and musicality are far stronger than the script work and without question all performers are in fine voice; but the result falls short of being in such a large house without any technical support.
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Reviewer: Petra Schofield