TWO of my favourite forms of entertainment on a single stage: Gilbert & Sullivan and Star Trek. What could possibly go wrong?
It certainly wasn’t G & S as we know it. A lot of it wasn’t Gilbert, though the jibes and jokes were in the true spirit of satire, so he would have approved. Sullivan was a bit, well, protective, and might have grumbled to hear Also Sprach Zarethustra, the Star Wars theme and the Vodaphone jingle threaded into his score. But the G & S canon is tough enough to take a bit of reworking.
In the Lyric Musical Society’s world, HMS Pinafore was the Starship Pina-4, and they sailed through outer space, not the ocean blue. Little Buttercup was a blue-haired, four-armed alien, Sir Joseph Porter Commander of the Space Empire, Ralph a space-dust man, the lowest form of astronaut; and Dick Deadeye was a malfunctioning android from Comet.
There were plenty of other space joke: iPhones, cathode ray guns, a Darth Vader moment. Sir Joseph confused astrology and astronomy, and one song, Fair Moon To Thee I Sing, needed no rewriting at all.
They didn’t have the best voices you’ll hear at Buxton’s Gilbert & Sullivan Festival this month, but even the music had its moments. Captain Corcoran (Simon Shelford) was a fine baritone, and the quartet formerly known as A British Tar was as melodious as any I’ve heard.
It took place at the Pavilion Arts Centre. LYNNE PATRICK