Review: Ruddigore, Taliesin Arts Centre
SURROUNDED and accused by the spirits of his evil relations, Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd crumbles to the ground as the weight of the Witches Curse is revealed to him during the visually and musically spectacular Ghosts High Noon.
Uplands Arts returned with their annual Gilbert and Sullivan outing, this year opting for one the one of the lesser known operettas, the supernatural-flavoured Ruddigore, and the moment when the undead relations emerge from behind the painting is just one of several highpoints. It follows the premise that the head of the Murgatroyd family, jinxed throughout the generations, is condemned to commit a crime a day. And anyone defying the ancient spell could find themselves being severely reprimanded by the ghosts of their ancestors.
Directed by Sarah Griffiths with Roger Hart leading the way in the orchestra pit, the vast cast performed their roles admirably, from the ever-smiling gang of cheerleading bridesmaids to the motley crew of swaying ghosts.
Andrew Bowen worked tirelessly as the hero-turned-villain at the centre of the action, as he competed with Tom Smith for the affections of the much sought- after Laura Elen Morris as Rose Maybud.
But, as is often said, the bad guys have all the fun, and it is the dynamic duo of Adrian Williams and Bronwen Beckett who steamrolled through the production with gutsy performances as their villainous Sir Despard Murgatroyd and Mad Margaret schemed, cackled, and united in song to perform the magnificently tongue-twisting Matter Patter. From the rousing live music to the highly detailed set design, anyone with a passing interest in the Victorian duo's repertoire should jump at the opportunity to catch a rare outing of this overlooked production.