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REVIEW: Little List of Gems - Bournemouth Gilbert & Sullivan Operatic Society - Barrington Theatre, Ferndown

By mbarber  |  Posted: May 10, 2014

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It is not enough to be a member of a society and have a thoroughly good time on stage, you need also to produce good entertainment for the paying public.

And this show, which will also be staged in Christchurch and Wimborne next week certainly does just that.

If you’re not familiar with the works of Gilbert - who wrote the words - and Sullivan - who composed the music - Little List of Gems is an excellent introduction.

The partnership produced 14 comic operas in the 19th century, and it is proof of the enduring quality of this distinctive style of music that it is still popular in the 21st century.

Scriptwriter Cherrill Ashford was inspired to set the scene at Waterloo Station during the Second World War with William S Gilbert (Bernard Gardner) and Sir Arthur Sullivan (Alan Wilson) reminiscing about their operas - although of course by then they had both been dead for some years.

The passengers - the 22-strong chorus - plus station master Gill Linford and the cat Kim Rowland perform 35 songs between them, with those not featured in a particular number, carrying on as if they were passengers in a station waiting room.

They are planning to travel to Bournemouth, but have been delayed as there are leaves on the line. Characters include nurses, soldiers and landgirls.

It would be unfair to highlight any performances in particular from such a big cast, but rest assured, there are some excellent voices in this company.

They will be at the Regent Centre in Christchurch on Friday 16th May and Wimborne’s Tivoli Theatre on Saturday 17th May.


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