The Sorcerer at Hanger Farm Arts Centre, Totton (23/11/11)

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‘Superb’. That was the word on everyone’s lips after Pocket G&S’s marvellous performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Sorcerer at the Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton in November.

The amateur dramatics group have become highly regarded for their excellent portrayal of operatic duo’s Gilbert and Sullivan’s plays, and their performance of The Sorcerer was no exception. Written in 1876, the play takes place on the eve of Alexis Pointdexter and Aline Sangazure’s wedding, when the infatuated Mr Pointdexter decides that he wants everyone to be as content as him in love, and be able to marry without the restraints of money, age, or social status. He calls upon a sorcerer to use an incantation to make everyone fall in love with the first person that they meet, although this doesn’t quite go according to plan.

There were some sterling performances from all the cast, especially Shaun Dodimead as the sorcerer J. Wellington Wells. He had excellent stage presence, and a real aptitude for knowing how to keep the audience laughing. The chorus was also well selected, although at times their diction was slightly unclear; but their obvious enjoyment of performing, and
some excellent singing ability, meant they were delightful on the stage.

The costumes were wonderfully authentic, and the minimalistic set on the stage enabled for some excellent dancing, choreographed by Natalie Thorn. The scene in which all of the characters have fallen in love due to the sorcerer’s spell literally had everyone laughing in the aisles, and there wasn’t a single person who left the show without a smile.

Musical director Keziah Jacombs showed why she was nominated for Daily Echo’s Curtain Call Award for her previous shows, as she conducted the seven-piece orchestra beautifully despite herself not having any music and having to improvise.

Director David Tatnall and assistant Louise Hodson certainly did a superb job, with the performance being top-class and very well cast. I (and many others I’m sure) await their next production eagerly.

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