Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe might have represented familiar territory for Reading Operatic Society in some respects, but this production, held on 18-20 February 2010 was different in many respects.
First harsh winter conditions affected the rehearsals and in the end it was decided to present Iolanthe in semi-staged form. Second it was the premiere outing for ROS at the Reading Central Salvation Army hall. And third it marked a change of director and musical director team for the society. Despite such a major change of shift the production was well received.
A cast of 31 included Jenny Saunders as Celia, Katy Wallis as Leila, Ruth Richards as Fleta, Jenny Gumbrell as the Queen of the Fairies, Caroline Carragher as Iolanthe, Tom Gingell as Strephon, Susannah Brooksbank as Phyllis, Gareth Watkins as The Lord Chancellor, Peter Kidson as Earl Mountararat and Andrew Few as Private Willis. The director was Henry Hawes, musical director Anthony Witt and choreographer David Parsonson alongside the Reading Operatic Society’s residential production team – David Anthony production manager, Carol Hodgkinson stage manager and Kim Hollamby lighting designer.
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