Review: HMS Pinafore re-launched


The Wimbledon Opera Society revives a Victorian classic at Sutton’s Secombe Theatre.


By Emily Ansell

A modern twist was brought to a classic operetta in Wimbledon Light Opera Society’s winter production at Sutton’s Secombe Theatre.

The amateur theatre group entered the festive season with their own version of the popular Gilbert and Sullivan classic HMS Pinafore, aiming to bring Victorian operetta into the modern age.

Musical Director Jon Mizler and Music Arranger Paul Sadler added their own songs, arrangements and harmonies as well as numbers from other G&S productions.

New characters were added to the production such as the 40s style Sisters Swing Trio who sang songs written especially for them.

The story itself was also modernised, telling the tale of a love affair on a cruise ship and the lives of the crew.

Director Angela Daniel said: “We had great fun making a musical ‘fusion’ of our own while making every effort to maintain the integrity of the original production.”

WLOS managed not to go overboard with alterations, keeping most of G&S’ original music and casting a delicate soprano, Amanda Stewart, as Josephine opposite an operatic tenor, Robert Lomax, as her lover Ralph.

Amanda hit the high notes effortlessly and graced the stage with elegance while Robert showed off his training at the Royal Academy of Music with his powerful voice.

The chorus provided a vibrant backdrop to the action with their dancing and singing and colourful costume.

The sailors were an especially strapping sight and Aunt, Carole Homer, provided fantastic comedy relief.

It was Trudi Camilleri’s performance as Buttercup which really stole the show.

A belty mezzo, Trudi has performed in styles ranging from jazz to opera and provided vocals for television and radio. Her voice sounded truly professional.

WLOS perform two shows a year with the major production taking place in the summer.

June 2010’s My Fair Lady was the biggest success in the society’s 80 year history.

The next production, Curtains by Kander and Ebb, will take place in May 2012.

For more information of WLOS visit

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