Marton Operatic Society first performed Yeomen of the Guard 80 years ago and the cast of that day would have delighted in this beautifully sung production.
Director Carol Lawrance wisely keeps to a traditional approach in an operetta where Sullivan’s interest in grand opera is to the fore and Gilbert’s ‘thou arts’ produce a somewhat ponderous period feel.
Ken Dagger as the jester Jack Point is his usual immaculate self – master of the patter song – and there is fine singing too from Lynn Corlett, Una Bird and the rich-voiced Peter Bowden.
After a first half as slow and stately as the Yeomen themselves, there is more humour after the interval when Tony Alman is suitably creepy in the role of the unlikeable Head Jailer Shadbolt. Andrew Lyons, Philip Walsh and Jennifer Miller lend strong support.
The quality of the singing is seen especially in the trios and quartets and, after some pale songs earlier, the chorus finally gets an opportunity in a powerful and operatic finale.
As the Fylde’s only Gilbert and Sullivan Society the Marton team are to be congratulated on keeping the flame alive and maintaining the centrality of clarity of diction and tuneful singing in 2014, as doubtless it was in 1934.