Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ruddygore a bit of a bore

Well, I'm no music critic, but I know what I like. Sadly, in my opinion Ruddygore is not one of G and S's best. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I went to see the show on Friday night. The plot is sufficiently twisty and loves are gained and lost and gained and lost and gained... and so on, with much hillarity as one expects from the masters.

Unfortunately the work has no really memorable songs, is overly long and loses a bit of momentum - I found myself falling asleep in places during Act II. Thank heavens, in the end boy gets girl and boy gets girl and boy gets girl.. I think that was all, and all the ghosts discovered that they were actually not dead - yay!

TRAGSPT (The Really Authentic Gilbert and Sullivan Performance Trust) did well with this production. The set was simple but effective; the soloists were excellent. I loved mad Margaret - Claire Barton excelled! On the whole the casting was very good and the characters believable. Oddly though, Robin Oakapple/Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd (the hero) was much, much younger than his supposedly younger brother Sir Despard Murgatroyd. Also a pity that the "professional bridesmaids" were physically mostly not very maidenly at all. The male chorus consisted of gentlemen of greatly varying physical appearances, but that worked very well and added to the "craziness" as is usual of a Gilbert and Sullivan production.

What happened to the Southern Sinfonia? The orchestra was not up to its usual standard, sometimes sounding a trifle thin and wobbly and at times they struggled to match the speed of the choristers - or perhaps it was the choristers who ran away from the orchestra? I would have thought that at nearly the end of the season they would have had those wee details sorted.


AlanGirvan said...

It was a nice night on Saturday, great job by the principals. Yes, the orchestra sounded a bit thin at times, but it true of most opera productions in Dunedin.

I am not sure I can remember any tunes (true for Princess Ida as well.) But the spooky music when the ghosts appeared was good.

Rosi Crane said...

You lot obviously don't have very good memories. I saw D'Oly Carte's Ruddigore (the one withe the i not the y) in London, when I was about 9 or 10. The best tune/song is...
"When the night wind howls, over the chimney cowls, and the bat in the belfry flies" and the paintings all seem to come alive. This production has satyed with e all my life, which colours my views somewhat - one reason why I didn't go to the Mayfair.

daharja said...

I know I'm a bit of a bore,
But for G&S you can't ignore
You can't go past HMS Pinafore!


(Hey - that rhymed!)

AlanGirvan said...

I notice that one of our esteemed columnist says that a production has satyed with e all my life. This leads me to wonder if it was covered in Peanut sauce?