The New London Opera Group (NewLOG) was founded in 2003. They perform twice a year in the Riverhead Theatre in Louth, Lincolnshire. This June?s production was Gilbert and Sullivan?s "Pirates of Penzance" and following their successful run in Louth they were invited by MTSoc Tour to perform, for one night only, in the Union Concert Hall. The performance was free with a retiring collection in aid of Crisis.
It is no wonder that The "Pirates of Penzance", written in 1879, is often considered Gilbert and Sullivan?s most well known and loved operetta. The blind devotion to duty, patriotism, nouveau riche snobs and the duplicity of "respectable" society that Gilbert?s story satirises are still relevant and amusing today while Sullivan?s score is rich and colourful and contains some of his most famous songs including, ?I am a Pirate King?, ?I am the very model of a modern Major General? and ?A Policeman?s lot is not a happy one?.
Despite the constaints imposed by bringing an established production to a new and very different venue, the energy and quality of the performance more than made up for the relatively basic setting. The choreography and stage direction had also been adequately adapted for the new stage size and layout. Of particular note were excellent technical performances from Megan Currier as Mabel and Samir Savant as Frederick which showed to full advantage in their duet.
The use of a comical and "highly period" PowerPoint presentation enlivened "The Major General?s Song" performed by Mike Wyer and Philip Errington?s portrayal of the Pirate King was this reporter?s highlight of the show. It would be remiss not to comment on the marvellous contribution from the members of the chorus, especially in numbers such as "A Policeman?s lot is not a happy one" and "Climbing over rocky mountains". The cast were competently supported by the nine piece band under the baton of musical director Graham Rogers.
Whilst the show lacked the polish of its Louth incarnation it nonetheless showcased the obvious talent and professionalism of this group. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable show and this reporter hopes that they will be invited back to perform at IC again.
NewLOG?s next performance will be "Bethlehem" by Rutland Broughton on Saturday 17th December 2005 in Holy Trinity Church, Prince Consort Road. For more information see NewLOG?s website.