Review: Chesterfield G&S cast a magical spell in Iolanthe

Brexit, Brussels and Boris bounce into a vote-winning update of Gilbert and Sullivan's political satire Iolanthe.

Thursday, 6th October 2016, 7:04 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 4:28 pm
Julie Currey (Iolanthe) and Nathan Blood (Strephon) in Chesterfield Gilbert and Sullivan Society's performance of Iolanthe. Photo by Albert Thomas.

Brainless peers swept off their feet by fairies masquerading as man-hungry WI members make for entertainment of the highest order.

The fun starts as soon as the ladies’ chorus whip out their copies of Fifty Shades of Grey and keeps on going.

There’s lots of laughs in Chesterfield Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s production yet the humour takes nothing away from the exceptional singing.

The chorus of peers belting out Loudly Let The Trumpet Bray is a highlight as is the performance of If You Go In by Stephen Godward (playing The Lord Chancellor), Max Taylor (Earl Tolloller) and Davron Hicks (Earl of Mountararat).

Laura Watkin, cast as ward of court Phyllis, and Nathan Blood, as half-mortal Strephon, make a delightful pairing, their voices well suited to the duet None Shall Part Us. Such outstanding young talent as displayed by these two performers shows the future of Chesterfield G&S in safe hands.

Julie Currey in the title role of fairy mum Iolanthe puts her heart into a beautiful rendition of the ballad My Lord, A Suppliant at thy Feet.

And Judith Hill commands respect as the Fairy Queen giving a powerful performance of Oh Foolish Fay.

Five girls from the Catherine Shepherd School of Dance add charm, graceful movement and a sprinkling of fairy dust over the orchestra which is conducted by musical director Andrew Marples.

The show opens amid a pretty setting where ornate columns entwined by leafy creepers depict a fairy glade in the grounds of a country house. Then it’s off to Westminster for the second half which is played out against the fexterior of the peers’ power base.

Catch this magical show, which is directed by Nic Wilson, at the Pomegranate Theatre until Saturday, October 8.