Thank you very much for the invitation and such a warm welcome from ENOS to see the production of The Sorcerer, and how pleased I am that I managed to make it back from Wales in time. I understand that Terry really enjoyed the show and wrote a rave review (and from a supposed non-G&S man), and that will go on to the NODA website.
And what impressed as one entered the auditorium: that truly excellent set to give the atmosphere and mood of period and action and the whole piece.
An experienced performer in many roles, a devoted G&S man, and now a director after this enterprise, Keith Swetman had done extra homework and input to give such a stylish production with all the extra interpretation and pointing of dialogue and humour and characterisations. Ros Swetman has really found her metier and stars as an exemplary MD both with those on stage and in the orchestra, such a good pace and well pointed vocals. And all that movement with a large cast on a small stage, the chorus were amazing in that they kept moving in step and made the whole company numbers so interesting and non-static and yet the high quality of singing impressed, and how much they all enjoyed being a part of the show as performed with energy.
The casting of the show was exemplary, so perfect a choice of personnel and how well they looked in their 'Downton Abbey' costumes as well as acting to the characters and sounding so excellent. Martin Dyer as Sir Marmaduke looked perfect (very Edward VII) and had the stylish character and stuffy personality, just unbending in the asides for his love, well delivered lines and vocals. And opposite him, Pat Tegerdine as Lady Sangazure had the tones so correct, the extra number 'In days gone by' and that so excellent duet with Sir Marmaduke to set off the period feelings and behaviour. What a joy and delight for eyes and ears to have these two loving leads, matching startling looks that any G&S society would die to have, how perfect for all to enjoy. Rachel Goodchild as Aline had it all with the model looks in that beautiful dress, the floating and pure notes for all her vocals, and those duets with Alexis done with feeling, plus holding her line with clarity in the concerted numbers. And the return of Martin Milnes (albeit unexpected) in the tenor role of Alexis: what a combination in the work with Aline, and opposite his father, and especially in the solos, how fortunate that he was free to stand in and join ENOS again. In the title role of Sorcerer, Clive Swetman was impressive and swift and clear of dialogue and patter song, and the trio worked so well for those excellent performers. Robin Richardson was an impressive Notary and somewhat bewildered by the attentions of Constance, good performance. As Mrs Partlett, Teresa Clayton was ideal in looks, a strong motherly character, and in those fine vocals; and as daughter Constance, Rowan Perrow is someone to watch for professionally after she goes to college, what a voice and such strong acting. And when it comes to pointing of humour line, timing, characterisation plus singing G&S as a first, Jen Alexander just had no match in the role of Dr Daly, excellent in every way. And a highlight in Act 2: that quintet which was sung and moved to perfection.
A most enjoyable evening for all involved on stage and in the audience.
Unofficial Review by Sue Dupont (NODA Rep)