By Jacques Offenbach

Original Libretto Hector Crémieux & Ludovic Halévy

Musical rearrangements by Paul Buckle & Jo Herco

Additional Libretto Paul Buckle, Janet Holloway & Nigel Holloway

 

NODA Review by Frank Wooles

Concept Players, of no fixed abode, arrived at the Paget Rooms, Penarth in March having played several venues with their own inimitable version of Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld. Plot and libretto had been tweaked and modernised but musically it remained faithful to the original and was generally well sung by principles and company. Ellie Hoare looked stunning as the bored, violin-loathing wife of Orpheus, sang well and played the role with a nice petulance and flourish and Waynes Hughes partnered her well as the not-so-blameless Orpheus. Edward Gomez in the dual role of Aristeus and King Pluto really came into his own in the latter role playing with strength and vocally secure. Oh to hear more of the beautiful and controlled voice of Janet Holloway playing a cameo role as Public Opinion. Nigel Holloway, Jupiter, King of Olympus, once again impressed with his fine timing, expressions and comic touch. A well-balanced cast of supporting players included Cat Carey as the feisty Juno, Carol Reeve as Venus, Olivia Gomez as Cupid, Ciara Charnley as Diana and Ruairidh MacLeod-Lyon as the alcoholic bemused Styx. Paul Buckle can be well pleased with his inventive and imaginative production which was well supported by the attractive and interesting choreography of Cat Carey. A special plaudit for the costumes and masks designed by Leigh and Liz Tomala and made by society members which were outstanding and the finale scene in the Underworld colourful and spectacular. The simple set was adequate and worked well as did the lightweight ensemble under the baton of Jo Herco which found all the fun and frolic of the rich Offenbach score. The audience staged their own sing-along "la-la-la" performance to the Can-Can play out music in evident enjoyment and appreciation of this delicious romp with Concept.

 

Originally published Autumn 2005

 

 

Pluto ascends to cause havoc in Olympus

 

"Edward Gomez in the dual role of Aristeus and King Pluto really came into his own in the latter role playing with strength and vocally secure."

 

NODA