For the East Norfolk Operatic Society's production of Gilbert and Sullivan's most dramatic and picturesque work, Robin Richardson creates a delightful set. Battlements, portcullis and a glimpse of a galleon on the Thames create a fairytale impression of the Tower of London.
In bright costumes and the yeomen's scarlet uniforms, the cast crowds the stage with vivid characters and gloriously contrived situations. Clive Swetman, lanky and clad in black, makes a glum head jailer. Kenneth Hytch's Jack Point contrasts with his humour. And his Elsie, Rachel Weeks, is winsome, with a bright voice. Patrick Monk is Fairfax with the two best lyrics of the show. He also has a part in the delightful quartet Strange Adventure.
The chorus sings strongly, especially in the conclusion to the acts. The end of the action works all the better for being unexpectedly hushed. Margaret Collingwood is the director and Eric James the musical director. He has only a reduced band but, once the overture is over, it provides all the musical backing that is needed.