Patience showcases ETO at its very best. For its quality and its ubiquity it is not to be missed. Do yourself a favour and don’t.
There’s a strong set of principal performances in a fine show, with Bradley Travis an effusive joy and Ross Ramgobin hinting at star potential.
The star of the show, as G&S intended, is Lauren Zolezzi’s Patience, pert and winsome but with a steely streak that wins the day.
This sprightly satire on the aesthetic craze of the eighties presents a ‘Fleshly Poet’ and an ‘Idyllic Poet’, Bunthorne and Grosvenor, who are rivals for the affections of the milkmaid, Patience. A train of languid ladies and their former flames, a Colonel, a Duke, and a Major, with a regiment of officers of the Dragoon Guards, complete the picture.
Patience, having been told that love must be absolutely unselfish, has to reject the perfect Grosvenor (Archibald the All-Right) and accept the very imperfect Bunthorne. This defection of their idol drives the ladies back to their military lovers, but the reunion is soon broken up by the arrival of Grosvenor, to whom they promptly transfer their adoration. Later, the baffled Bunthorne, aided by the mature Lady Jane, concocts a scheme to get rid of the interloper by means of a terrible Curse, which compels Grosvenor to give up his aestheticism and to become a quite commonplace young man.
The plan, however, recoils, as all the ladies decide that since Archibald All-Right cannot possibly be All-Wrong, then obviously aestheticism should be discarded. Patience, discovering that her Archibald is no longer perfect, promptly falls into his arms, and Bunthorne, crushed, decides to wed Jane, his one remaining adorer. However, the Duke enters, declaring that since he is a very ordinary young man, it is only fair for him to choose a lady who is distinctly plain, that is to say, Jane, who joyfully accepts him, so that ‘Nobody is Bunthorne’s Bride!’
Florence de MareDesigner
Mark HowlandLighting Designer
Aled HallDuke of Dunstable
Andrew SlaterColonel Calverly
Jan CapinskiMajor Murgatroyd
Alex Vearey RobertsChorus