Operetta maintains very high standards

Marton Operatic Society - The Sorcerer
Marton Operatic Society - The Sorcerer

The Sorcerer, Lowther Pavilion

This seventh production of The Sorcerer by Marton Operatic Society in their 87-year history maintains their usual high standard.

The operetta, the third written by Gilbert and Sullivan, shows signs of the format, both in words and music, which flowers in the more popular Mikado or Pirates of Penzance; here the quartets and patter songs are already a real strength.

Vocally there is fine work from Tony Alman, Graham Beevers, Lynn Corlett and, particularly, Clio Hedley, but as often with Marton productions, the top accolade must go to Ken Dagger in the title role of John Wellington Wells. For any aspiring actor he provides a lesson in stage presence.

Musical director Margot Wright’s tuneful 16-piece orchestra and an always-lively chorus provide maximum support in an immaculately costumed production.

Director Philip Walsh’s inventive introduction of eight children is a success, but modern references to Amazon Prime and Harry Ramsdens, while good for an easy laugh, also serve to emphasise the somewhat stilted dialogue and slowness of some scenes.