On course for a treat

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The Gondoliers - Lowther Pavilion, Lytham

Marton Operatic Society launched the boat into their ninth decade with a beautifully sung performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s perhaps most tuneful operetta ‘The Gondoliers’.

Director Carol Lawrance and musical director Peter Weston, with his commendable 16 piece orchestra, skillfully let fine singing and the variety of melodies and rhythms of G and S’s most mature work rule the roost.

John Darrell and Tony Lancaster have rich, differing and complementary tenor voices as the charming Marco and Giuseppe, whilst the vivacious Debbie Ralph and more measured Martha Lockwood make up an outstanding quartet of principals, backed up by some accomplished work from the chorus.

Fun

Jacqui Veazey and Arthur Baines each produce a tour de force as Duchess and Duke, Grandees par excellence, and Peter Bowden and Jacqui Cookson duet melodiously as Luiz and Casilda.

The stately bass of Philip Walsh as the Grand Inquistor demands attention throughout.

The dialogue, taken at just the right pace, is intelligently interpreted and delivered with often humorous timing, as fun is poked at royalty, government and graft. A very respectable first night audience loved The Duke of Plaza Toro dot com too.

Costumes, an atmospheric set, lighting and sound all contribute greatly to the show, but the audience went away into a drizzly Lytham St Annes night with a sunlit Venice and some glorious singing in their heads.

Continues to Saturday.