London Coliseum Until December 11
This is a super show – go and see it. This inspired comedy romp is guaranteed to entertain anyone aged nine-to-90. It was created by Cal McCrystal, comicmeister, who first brought Cal’s anarchic sense if humor to our attention when he hosted the award-winning One Man, Two Guvnors.
McCrystal got his freedom on Iolanthe again in 2018, according to English National Opera. Now he returns with more captivating Gilbert & Sullivan that looks good, sounds good, and by golly will do you good.
I was shocked to see a Boris Johnson-like looking man fall from a zip line into the briny. It’s small, yes, but it is there.
You’ll have lots of laughs for those aged 9 to 90 with this comic-master Cal McCrystal’s inspired adventure. Hilary Summers stars as Little Buttercup (above).
It’s a good-looking show. They are beautiful costumes, period-appropriate, and undoubtedly expensive. Pinafore, or the back end of Pinafore, is shaped around quite a bit, which allows for more fun.
It’s very well sung, too. As the two young lovers, Elgan Llyr Thomas and Alexandra Oomens, both ENO Harewood artists, make the Coliseum’s rafters ring with some splendidly fresh singing.
Experienced actors, like Henry Waddington playing a disgustingly smelty Dick Deadeye or Hilary Summers portraying Little Buttercup as a Pam Ayres soundalike, show their skills well.
John Savournin, arguably today’s most accomplished Savoyard, is a terrific Captain Corcoran. Nine-year-old Rufus Bateman has a great time – and gives us one too – as the Midshipmite. However, Les Dennis is the real star of the comedy.
He portrays Sir Joseph Porter, a canting, hypocritical and lecherous old soak. He sounds a little tired, however. It is my hope that he will keep the same course.
Under the energetic leadership of Chris Hopkins, ENO’s chorus and orchestra make distinctive contributions.
This show will be opposed by only those who believe Gilbert to be a sacred text and all should remain the same as in 1878. Enjoy.