2003 - Patience


- the Makeover
Bowenthorne’s Pride

Directed by: Nic Wilson
Conducted by: Melanie Gilbert

Bowenthorne and his adoring fans Titchmarsh rejects the ladies adulation

A revised and updated version of Patience, written by Liz McKenzie and Nic Wilson, which transposed the adulation for 19th century Aesthetic poets to 21st century worship of celebrity, and in particular, the (then) current vogue for television "makeover" programmes.

Patience - Poster

The Patience 2003 poster
designed by Viv Morgan

Patience - Review

Derbyshire Times - Thursday, June 12, 2003


Gay Bolton
Reproduced by permission of the Derbyshire Times

It's become the fashion to give classic works a modern look

What better way to attract new spectators than set an old-fashioned 19th century comedy about competitive poets in the world of rival television makeover kings?

Matlock Gilbert and Sullivan Society's updated version of Patience painted on the colour with a wide brush - from starstruck groupies in bright outfits to the hilarious song and dance act of Max Taylor as Handy Andy Duke and Sue Kinsella as makeover applicant Tara.

I thought the company missed a golden opportunity not to include Trinny and Susannah as makeover hopefuls - but you can't win em all.

The men's chorus, wearing overalls and hard hats came on stage wielding steel frames and built a plant stand.

One of them, Nic Wilson, who produced the show, entertained with the G & S standard 'patter song' including everyone from Jonah Lomu to lan Hislop while references to the National Lottery, Tony Blair, B & Q and Ikea littered the script.

It was only Christine Gilman as Patience who didn't have a new look. Her mop cap and dress were 1880s fashion, although this Patience was cook rather than milkmaid.

Eric Morgan, as the flowery dreamer Lawrence Bowenthorne had the best line : "Come On In, The Wardobe's Lovely!" and lan Clulow as rival Archibald Titchmarsh amused everyone as the bighead with a line in naff verse.

The staging was simple but its different levels proved a stumbling block for one of the elder actresses who fell at Bakewell's Medway Centre on Thursday. In true showbiz tradition, she got back on her feet and carried on.

While the company took liberties with the libretto, the music stayed true to the original and a pat on the back to musical director Melanie Gilbert for informative notes in the programme.

Highlights included ensemble piece I Heard The Soft Note, the solo by Ann Hawkswood of Sad Is That Woman's Lot and Christine Gilman's Love Is A Plaintive Song.

All in all it was a terrific creation from a sound force.