Marton Operatic Society have presented Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore seven times since 1947 and never can one have been better sung.
Director Carol Lawrance plays the show as a parody of the melodramatic style loved by the Victorians and her cast respond splendidly.
The excellence of the contrasting voices of the principals is striking. Kingsley Judd is a jaunty and winsome Richard, Peter Bowden an articulate and precise Ruthven and their duets and trios with Deborah Ralph as a trilling Rose are the bedrock of a successful show.
The moustachioed Anthony Alman is suitably villainous as Sir Despard and, in the second half, the booming tones of Philip Walsh as Sir Roderic are right on the money as the melodrama is built up. Ken Dagger, Martha Lockwood and Gillian Teague are strong in support and the slightly ditzy chorus of professional bridesmaids are first-class.
A little more volume on some of the spoken dialogue would be advantageous.
Musical director Peter Weston and his 16-piece orchestra produce a very full sound with Lynn Tarling’s oboe prominent, as Sullivan showcases a wide range of music from patter songs to madrigals.
The 2002 production of Ruddigore was the Society’s last show in their much-loved Marton church hall before an enforced move to the Lowther Pavilion.
The Company of 2012 deserve every congratulation on continuing their long tradition of top quality Gilbert and Sullivan.
Continues until Saturday.