Review: Feast of Gilbert and Sullivan satisfies appetites

A Feast of Gilbert and Sullivan
A Feast of Gilbert and Sullivan

According to the programme we were to enjoy the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra at the Pomegranate on Saturday to accompany the concert of Gilbert and Sullivan numbers we’d gone to see.

I expect they couldn’t fit them all in the pit, because we actually got a grand piano, played by David Smith from the Leeds City Varieties. No matter; the orchestra would only have drowned the singers, and they were well worth hearing.

Soprano Deborah Norman, mezzo Alison Crane, tenor Nicholas Sales, baritone and patter man Jeremy Peaker, and bass Richard Woodall treated an enthusiastic audience to a selection from all the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Even the more obscure shows like Utopia Limited and The Grand Duke were given an airing, though more popular ones like The Gondoliers, Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado had pride of place.

The cast told anecdotes, and performed brief scenes to give some songs a context.

It was simply presented: no costumes, just posh frocks, dinner jackets, fancy waistcoats, and a handful of props, but Gilbert’s characters came across clearly. There were plenty of laughs, and a polished evening’s entertainment.