After it had a slightly tentative start, LOpSoc’s ‘The Sorcerer’ did not disappoint. It did seem as if the company were slightly nervous throughout the performance (there were several line slips) but I’m confident that this will disappear in subsequent performances as the cast become progressively more comfortable in their roles. The same can be said for the band who were slightly out of time at certain instances over the course of the performance, but were clearly very able and had benefited from strong musical direction from Chris Ball. Even between Act 1 and Act 2, improvements in the confidence and quality of the performance were visible.
There were moments in the first act where dialogue was drowned out by the band, although this was either rectified or solved itself very quickly. The whole company sound was very strong with some fantastic harmonies and the male and female ensembles were equally good. Choreography was fairly simple but effective and in time. Scenes were performed to great effect, with ‘The Incantation’ and ‘The Second Incantation’ standing in particularly good stead. Stephen Bourne deserves some kind of medal for managing to keep a straight face whilst being kissed by Richard Patient, who was by far the most comic actor of the piece giving a hilarious performance as Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre. James Rosser warmed into his performance which by the interval was very assured and Luke ‘Baz’ Barratt performed with excellent clarity and diction. Jon North gave a sterling performance in the title role of The Sorcerer – he appeared to be truly enjoying playing his part even though it was demanding and, at times, insanely fast-paced.
From a technical angle, the show was one of my personal favourites of the year alongside Theatre Group’s ‘Vindice’. Smoke and dry ice were used to great effect and lighting design by Dave Aggus and Theresa Crisham was incredible, with a wide range of techniques used to excellent effect. Scenery was simple yet effective and costumes were very good. Although some were quite creased, this was not generally enough to distract from Kirsty March’s excellent effort in this area.
Whilst the light opera style of ‘The Sorcerer’ will not be everyone’s cup of tea, the cast and crew have worked hard to bring it to the stage and I would highly recommend it.
The Sorcerer is running nightly until June 16th at The Annex, Highfield Campus. Shows begin at 19:30 with the exception of a 14:30 matinée performance on 16/6/12. Tickets can be booked from the SUSU box office.