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Die Fledermaus (The Bat)

By Johann Strauss

26th, 27th, 29th, 30th October 2004
Joseph Rowntree Theatre

Gabriel von Eisenstein and Dr. Falke, two of fashionable society’s elegant figures, have long been close friends – and rivals in the playing of practical jokes. After one of the many hectic parties at which Falke was dressed in the costume of a bat, Eisenstein engineered events so that his friend, very much the worse for wear, was left stranded some miles from home. Falke had to return on foot in the growing daylight, an embarrassing experience which earned him the title of "Dr. Fledermaus". This occurred some three years ago. Tonight Dr. Falke’s elaborate revenge begins to unfold …..

Cast

Gabriel von Eisentein

Ian Thomson-Smith

Rosalinda (Eisenstein’s wife)

Julia Ledger

Alfred (Rosalinda’s admirer)

David Neild

Adele (Rosalinda’s maid)

Lucy Jubb

Dr. Blind (Eisenstein’s solicitor)

David Reston

Dr. Falke (close friend of Eisenstein)

Tom Forrest

Colonel Frank (Prison Governor)

Jonathan Golding

Ida (Adele’s sister)

Carol Costello

Prince Orlofsky (a Russian socialite)

Katrina Attwood

Frosch (Jailer)

Ian Small

 

Musical Director – Alasdair Jamieson

Director – John Soper

 

Set Design – Irma Gemmell

Costume Design – Maggie Soper

 

Reviews

‘A larger than life performance’ – The Press, October 2004.

It took the ear a while to get used to the downsized orchestra; after all, reducing a full orchestral complement to a ten-piece band is a big hit, but once they were up and running the instrumental intimacy quickly became the norm – and the playing was uniformly very good indeed.

Soprano Lucy Jubb’s opening gambit set the vocal tone for the evening – very accomplished and on top of her game, and the succeeding trio with Ian Thomson-Smith, a confident Julia Ledger and David Reston as the blustering Dr. Blind was, despite some first night jitters, great fun. As was the following trap-baiting duet between Mr. Thomson-Smith (excellent all evening) and Tom Forrest.

The cheeky choreography (Pauline Marshall) cleverly married the daft, blokeish distractions. David Neild’s portrayal of Rosalind’s suitor, Alfred, as an arm-waving, wine-guzzling Hercule Poirot was inspired. He could sing a bit too!

The second-act ball costumes (Maggie Soper) were simply stunning, as was Katrina Attwood’s larger-than-life Russian accent, Ms Jubb’s aria with excellent “mocking” woodwind support and Ms Ledger’s virtuosic ode to “Hungarian” music. The orchestral playing seemed to get better and better, and throughout the second act it was top drawer, the closing moments bristling with vitality. And from the sublime to the ridiculous, Ian Small’s drunken jailor was hilarious.

There were many highlights but it is musical director Alasdair Jamieson who must take the bow.

P.S. It needs a bigger venue!

Steve Crowther




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