ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

Strephon is in love with Phyllis, a ward of court but who is also loved by the Peers who assemble to see whose hand she will take in marriage. “Loudly Let The Trumpets Bray”. The dispute between Fairyland and the House of Lords was well played out to good effect. Enter the Earl of Mountararat and Earl Tolloller, performed by Ken Rees and David Griffiths. They delivered their roles with playfulness and had a comic buddy moment “In Friendship’s Name!”. The Lord Chancellor was portrayed David Kay who is suited to the “patter roles”. He has good timing and is a clear favourite with the audience. On sentry duty outside Westminster Hall we meet Private Willis. This cameo role was in the very safe hand of John Matthias. His characterful singing allowed Gilbert’s satire to bubble up naturally. The loved-up pair are Phyllis and Strephon. Victoria Goulden sang with a bright colourful emotional range. Victoria was thoroughly charming as the heroine. Karl Heaver, as the bi-mortal shepherd, gave a satisfyingly gentle comic performance as Strephon. Together they complemented each other. This production was faithful to the original work, a buoyant and witty Opéra-Comique.