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DIRECTOR’S: Frank Banks (Cox & Box) / Richard Fraser (The Zoo) / Alison Gibbs (Trial by Jury)
MD’S: Sue Trost (Cox & Box) / Margaret Johnson (The Zoo) / Shirley Hale (Trial by Jury)
A very interesting, lively and amusing evening’s entertainment. I have never seen The Zoo before, but thought it was very interesting and colourful, despite being rather gruesome in content!
We were treated to some excellent performances, lovely costumes and a quirky, different take on Trial by Jury. The Directors had contrived to make each Act very different, which gave us an interesting evening, with some good contrasts.
The musical configurations for each Act were good, with well-
The set for Cox & Box was good, typifying a gentleman’s lodgings – with two excellent
performances from Graham Breeze as Cox and Robert Little as Box. The story, if anything
was sillier than usual – Sullivan music with lib by Burnand – but it somehow seemed
quite real, with nice contrasts between for example Box’s Lullaby, slow and gentle,
and Cox’s My Master is Punctual, quick and lively, with various additional silly
songs, but all given a believable air by these two gents, who had extremely good
voices, created good three dimensional characters which blended well. In this Act
I was not convinced by Richard Dean’s Bouncer – he was not forceful or smart enough
for an ex-
This then set us up for Act 2 – The Zoo. A very good opening with lovely costumes,
and some excellent principals. I particularly liked Brain Miles as Carboy, as well
as singing beautifully, he gave us comedy and pathos with his ineffectual attempts
to hang himself, and his relationship with Laetitia giving us a softer side to him.
Paula Fraser was a winsome Laetitia – who gave us lots of expression, to match her
erstwhile suitor, and sung the part well with lots of expression. There were also
Thomas and Eliza, played by Graham Breeze and Jo Bigg, who performed a lovely number
Ah, Maiden Fair, and I have made a note of good timing from Thomas in We Gather From
What You have Said. I also found the number where Thomas was eating the whole time
very amusing – obviously Eliza believed in the way to a man’s heart was via his stomach
– very well done. Again a simple story, but well told and super costumes, lots of
colour, worn well, with nice wigs where required. Tom Gammell completed the principal
This was followed by Act 3 – Trial by Jury – and a very different take on this one.
The jury were all pantomime characters, as were the Counsel, the Defendant, the
Plaintiff, and the Judge. It was hilarious, and so suited the music. The set was
again excellent – as were the costumes, with the exception of Snow White’s hem, which
spoiled an otherwise superlative set of costumes. I loved Brian Miles again, this
time as the Defendant, cast as Prince Charming but with the look and ways of Gaston
from Beauty and the Beast – a good characterisation, plenty of expression, and nicely
sung. Jo Bigg looked super as the Judge, and again was very expressive. Loved her
sparkly mauve costume, it really suited her and the part. Paula Fraser gave us a
So all in all a very enjoyable evening’s entertainment from PBGS – well dressed and well sung with some lovely harmonies and good characterisations, plus humour and fun.
Putteridge Bury Gilbert & Sullivan Society
“TRIPLE BILL” Review date: 11th April 2013
Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin