The Ryesingers performed Gilbert and Sullivan’s satire, “PATIENCE, or Bunthorne’s Bride on Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th of February at The Community Centre, Rye. On Friday, Valentine’s Day the theatre was packed to a full house where the Ryesingers fulfilled the audience’s expectations with an outstanding performance.
“Patience”, is one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s lesser known operettas but nevertheless contains a wealth of quality music and lyrics well suited for the voices of Ryesingers. This boisterous musical was first performed on the 23rd April 1881 at the Opera Comique, the last of the Gilbert and Sullivan works to be originated at the increasingly inadequate theatre. It ran for 176 performances at the Opera Comique and then moved to D’Oyly Carte’s splendid new Savoy Theatre, which had been specially built for the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. It ran for another 402 performances.
Patience, the milk maid, was played by Leslie Moore who captured the audience with her strong soprano voice and her innocent ways in her quest to find out about love. David Peart who acted the part of Reginald Bunthorne, the fleshly poet, who professed his love for Patience had the audience in hoots of laughter as he strutted his portly self and sang his heart out in his effort to win her advances or any of those of the rapturous maidens for that matter! But he was no match for Archibald Grovesnor, the idyllic, and narcissistic poet played superbly by Jonathan Breeds who every woman, including Patience and all of the Chorus of Rapturous Maidens fell in love with (and he, with himself of course !)
Lady Angela, acted and sang by Carol Ball did a stupendous job of mentor to the young and innocent Patience. Lady Jane performed by Janice Reeves excelled in the comical duet that she sang with Bunthorne, which again, had everyone laughing and applauding. Lady Sapphire was played by Anne Whiteman and Lady Ella by Sue Jones who both sang beautifully.
The 35th Dragoon Guards sorted everyone out with their command performance. Colonel Calverley was played by Andrew Hewitt, Major Murgatroyd by Charles Eldridge and Lt. The Duke of Dunstable by Andrew J. Daniels whose melodious voice not only captured the heart of Lady Jane but also many hearts of those in the audience. What a romantic end to a delightful Valentine’s evening at the operetta! Congratulations to Lesley Brownhill, Musical Director and to piano accompanist Richard Eldridge for a great show.
Rye’s Own March 2003
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