1965; HMS Pinafore
It was with great optimism that we looked forward to the performance of H.M.S. Pinafore on the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th of April by members of the choir, orchestra and Dramatic Society. As we had heard the wonderful way in which Mr. Moffatt had trained the choir and orchestra and had seen the two previous productions by Mr. Jones, we therefore expected to see a superb performance of to quote the programme "that very popular comic opera", by W. S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan.
The fifteen piece orchestra. consisting of members and friends of the school had to be placed so that they did not distract the eye from the stage. This was achieved by placing it in the extremely small space to the left of the stage, in the auditorium. After the rousing overture the curtains opened to display a professionally decorated stage: a quarter deck complete with capstan, mast and rope ladders. The whole set produced the colour and atmosphere necessary for such a production, and thanks must go to Mr. Buckle, Mr. Harrisson and assistants who created it.
It is difficult to review a play without having to mention particular names, although the part played by each person has its own significance. Special tribute must be paid, however, to the major characters of the opera. Anthony Turner played to his usual high standard as the Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B. He acted the part of the slightly deaf and fumbling man with accuracy and assuredness. Captain Corcoran played by Peter Freshney both from the acting and singing performance would have been difficult to better. David Chattertons strong voice was well employed in his part as Ralph Rackstraw, whilst Christopher Bishop and Nicolas Common were outstanding amongst the crew. The boys who played the parts of Josephine (Leslie Smith), Hebe (Michael Higgins) and Mrs. Cripps (Leslie Hollingbery) must be commended on their overcoming the difficult task of taking female roles.
The crew added to the nautical atmosphere of the opera and the First Lord's sisters, cousins and aunts were so well made up that several of the audience thought they were actually girls. The singing was to an exceptionally high standard. and all the cast must be congratulated on the pleasure it gave to the audience. At the end of the performance many of the audience were to be heard humming and whistling one of the many refrains from the opera.
Mr. Jones and Mr. Moffatt must be congratulated on their magnificent production of H.M.S. Pinafore and the school must surely thank them for the hard work they put into the production. Also to be thanked is everybody else who helped behind the scenes and who the audience never see but without whom the opera would not have been one of the best-ever school productions.
G.A.Swan 6B.Lit. and D.Stewart 6B.Sci.