Ruddigore (or The Witch’s Curse), Octagon Theatre, October 2013
3 – 12 October 2013
Director: Justin Freind
Musical Director: Max Page
“What? Thou lovest the bad baronet of Ruddigore? Oh horrible, too horrible!” So is set the scene of Ruddigore, Gilbert and Sullivan’s mock melodrama which sends up the gothic tales beloved of Victorian audiences. The difference is that it is full of Gilbert’s biting but hilarious wit and some of Sullivan’s finest music.
We learn that naïve young farmer, Robin Oakapple, should rightly be the bad baronet of Ruddigore, a title currently enjoyed (or deplored) by his younger brother Sir Despard. Young Robin is in love with the sweet Rose Maybud who is equally shy and the situation is complicated by the appearance of the dashing Dick Dauntless, Robin’s best friend, who proceeds to set up the eternal triangle. To complicate matters Mad Margaret is desperately in love with Sir Despard and performs a mad scene worthy of grand opera (which it certainly is not!).
Each baronet of Ruddigore is required to commit one evil deed each day or suffer a hideous death at the hands of his ghostly ancestors. In the second act we meet the true bad baronet (young Robin) being tormented by his ghostly ancestors for his apparent failure to commit his daily evil deed. What is he to do? How can this problem be overcome? Well it is of course resolved and, true to Gilbert and Sullivan, they all live happily ever after!