Monday, August 15, 2022
EntertainmentMUSICAL - Gilbert and Sullivan's Improbable New Musical: Less Miserable

MUSICAL – Gilbert and Sullivan’s Improbable New Musical: Less Miserable

[star rating =4/5]

PLAYING to maxed out capacity, this pitch-perfect comedic riff on Gilbert & Sullivan’s musical legacy is a must-see for fans of musical theatre.

Photo: Pete Richardson

Gilbert & Sullivan, the fathers of the modern musical, are chilling out in heaven when they decide to make a bet. Can they improve upon the worlds longest running musical and create another Gilbert & Sullivan classic in the process?

With a few tweaks, audiences will be treated to a production of Les Mis unlike any other they’ve ever seen.

The show parodies the story of the world’s longest-running musical, Les Miserables, using songs taken entirely from the G&S canon.

Fans of Les Miserables and Gilbert & Sullivan’s operettas will enjoy this hilarious musical. There are plenty of nods to both the original Les Mis as well as G&S’s entire back catalogue.

The show performs a wide range of Gilbert & Sullivan classics, slotting them easily in place of Les Mis’s more dour offerings.

There should be a prize for the person who recognises most of the references since some are plucked from less well-known G&S works.

The cast of nine performers features an impressive vocal range with excellent comedic timing.

Particular standouts among the cast were Aileen/Fantine and both actors playing Gilbert and Sullivan. The big group numbers featured excellent harmonies and choreography.

Photo: Pete Richardson

Costumes and sets were kept simple, with red scarves used to represent a variety of objects or to symbolise a particular character. Sets were also kept simple but used effectively, often adding to the hilarity.

The only bum notes in an otherwise perfect show lay in occasional lapses in diction during those fast-paced G&S songs. This is a common difficulty in G&S productions and did not detract from the show’s overall enjoyability.

In true G&S tradition the show features all kinds of improbable situations, feeble disguises and cases of mistaken identity. This is accompanied by fitting songs and a performance style which can only be described as truly “operatic” – large, bombastic, and stridently funny.

It is probably not a spoiler to reveal that all ends happily although audiences should see the show themselves to find out how.

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