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Ruddigore (Susan Elkin reviews)

Ruddigore continues at Wilton’s Music Hall, London until 25 March 2023.

Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩

For decades I’ve struggled to understand why Gilbert and Sullivan’s magnificent gothic send-up isn’t better known. The score, which I’ve known and loved since my teens, includes some of Sullivan’s loveliest gems.

The good news is that in this bijoux version (cast of 13) it sits very happily in the gothic shabby chic of Wilton’s Music Hall. Peter Benedict, who also appears as Sir Despard, has retrieved some of Gilbert’s cut dialogue and reordered some of the songs in order to make this complicated plot about ancestors, three men with the same surname, ghosts and the rest as clear as possible.

The talented cast is a mixture of opera-trained singers and those who’ve come via the musical theatre route and the difference is clear. Benedict himself, for example, is a terrific actor – all Hitchcock-ian menace and eyes – and very good indeed at diction but his singing style is more Noel Coward than Bryn Terfel.

Madeline Robinson, on the other hand ….. (read the rest of this review at Musical Theatre Review

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Susan Elkin Susan Elkin is an education journalist, author and former secondary teacher of English. She was Education and Training Editor at The Stage from 2005 - 2016
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