The Annex

GILBERT and Sullivan’s operettas, written and first-staged in the 1880s, continue to be regularly performed worldwide. Each company adding their individual spin on the tremendously witty scripts makes every production different and Directors Joseph Hand and company-veteran Owen Perring’s trump card was casting Billy Boulton as Don Alhambra, the Spanish Inquisitor, in the style of Rowan Atkinson, allowing him to steal every scene. Barnaby Wilson and Stephen Woolford were very talented as Marco and Giuseppe, sharing the duties of king in a trademark twist, separated from new brides Gianetta and Tessa, beautifully-sung by Maria Bucsinescu and Sophie Brant. David Child, Rhona Graham and Venetia Matthews were also good value as the Duke and Duchesses of Plaza Toro. The initial simple set was augmented by his-and-his thrones after the break and, with some inventive choreography and a lively, if occasionally over-loud, orchestra, the show is set-fair for the Harrogate G&S Festival later this year!

Alan Johns