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Ruddigore casts a spell

Gilbert and Sullivan romp filled with laughter
Rudy Ewart as Sir Roderic Murgatroyd in the Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s production of Ruddigore

First produced in 1887, Ruddigore, one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s lesser-known supernatural operettas, followed the hugely successful The Mikado and contains much of their best work.

The opera is a parody of the domestic melodrama, popular in its day, about a witch’s curse, hidden identity and a gallery of ghosts who come to life to exact their will or their vengeance on the unhappy mortal in their power.

The Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s musical cast includes an evil baronet, a high born hero in disguise, a virtuous heroine, a faithful servant and a true-blue, plain-spoken sailor.

A standout performance by Andrea Palin as Mad Margaret, a woman driven crazy by love and jealousy, and a solid chorus, who provide a generous amount of giggles, as well as many other characters known to traditional melodrama round out this entertaining show.

Ruddigore’s characters behave in ways the audience does not see coming, creating an exciting story with unexpected and very funny twists.

Casting a spell on both performers and audience, George Corwin returns as music director, Chris Moss as stage director and Heather-Elayne Day as choreographer.

Performers include Jonathan Woodward, George Morfitt (Best actor award: 2012 Theatre BC South Island Zone Festival) and Merissa Cox (Mikado). New to the troupe’s mainstage productions is Meaghan Toole, whose lilting voice and gentle take on heroine Rose Maybud brings the freshness of youth to the mature cast of Ruddigore.

The operetta is at the McPherson Playhouse April 6 at 8 p.m. and April 7 at 2 p.m. For tickets, call the McPherson box office at 250-386-6121 or book online at

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