Grenoside & Birley Carr Players’s version of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera is an enjoyable affair.
Playboy Ventian gondoliers, brothers Marco and Giuseppe Palmieri finally decide to choose their brides and pick beautiful Gianetta and Tessa.
However trouble appears in the form of Spanish quartet, Duke, Duchess, daughter Casilda and servant Luiz. They reveal that one of the Palmieri brothers is of royal blood and married Casilda as a child. Only the boy prince’s former nanny will be able to identify him. Will Gianetta or Tessa be left without a husband?
The four leads are confident actors and share convincing chemistry. Melanie Marshall as Gianetta and Rebecca Toates as Tessa are stunning to look at. John Otter and David Root as the Palmieri brothers did well to pick them out during the game of “Blind Man’s Buff” at the start!
Angela Drake as Casilda had the best ladies voice so was underused. She shared some great romantic duets with lover Luiz, played by Maxwell Thorpe.
There were some great costumes. The Duke looked stereotypically Spanish with wig, pointy hat and waxed moustache. The Duchess and Casilda’s dresses evoked the nineteenth century effectively.
Michael Tipler and Christine Stubbs as the Duke and Duchess also had fun modernising the dialogue; chatting about Facebook and Twitter and even namedropping celebrities such as Keira Knightley into established songs.
David Barraclough as The Spanish Grand Inquisitor, Don Alhambra has the most intriguing line. Referring to the brothers’ egalitarian regal regime, “When everybody is somebody, then no-ones anybody!”