REVIEW SWINDON GILBERT AND SULLIVAN SOCIETY THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE WYVERN THEATRE This 40th anniversary production of Swindon's Gilbert and Sullivan Society is testament to the ever engaging enthusiasm of Gilbert and Sullivan stalwarts both on and of the stage. I am always amazed at how the men emerge from the woodwork to take part in these shows. You can guarantee that almost without question they're up for it.' The songs from Pirates of Penzance are well known and still being sung with enthusiasm in music festival classes around the country.

This was a good production, although I did have reservations about the orchestra being so prominent and not in the pit. The music in any production is there to enhance, not take over. I felt they rather took the eye away from the action and made it seem a little muddled. It also meant that at times some of the singers were struggling to make themselves heard.

In saying that, I enjoyed this production and especially the casting of Kevin Gunning in the lead role of Frederic, the pirate apprentice. Gilbert and Sullivan needs to be ever so slightly affected, and diction has to be perfect. In Kevin's case, I couldn't fault his characterisation, style or stage presence.

The stunning voice of Catherine Welch as Mabel held me spell bound.

Sandra Burchell, David Stephenson, Lance Todd and Richard Abrams played their leading roles well, making them believable.

G and S should be silly, frivolous, and at times, rather funny. Director, Robert Hills, gave this production all of that.

At times the chorus were a little out of sinc with the orchestra, but I'm sure that was just a first night thing and that all will be well for the rest of the run.

This was a colourful, well costumed production and a welcome return for the society to the newly refurbished Wyvern Theatre. Hopefully they will continue to bring Gilbert and Sullivan to Swindon audiences for another forty years.

Ros Hollands