Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore did not set London’s Savoy Theatre alight upon its 1887 opening.

Nevertheless, although it lacks the showstoppers of Pinafore and Pirates, the operetta has gradually garnered plaudits on account of its wit, charm, and colour.

An apt opportunity, then, for the Jorvik Gilbert and Sullivan Company – now in its sixth year – to showcase the breadth of its abilities beyond the surefire favourites of the repertory.

Ruddigore traces the exploits of the wholesome Robin Oakapple, a man attempting to evade the witch’s curse that has befallen his bloodline; his true title – Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd – dictates that he must commit one crime every day.

Alex Schofield dispatched the lead with a stifled bravado of quintessentially English manner: “You have no idea what a low opinion I have of myself, and how little I deserve it!”

In romantic pursuit, Schofield waltzed straight out of the Four Weddings school of bashful suitor; it jarred well with Stuart Roberts’ nautical swagger as brother-turned-rival Richard Dauntless. The blithesome passion for etiquette of their love interest – Rose Maybud – was enacted wonderfully by Susan Blenkiron.

Arthur Sullivan’s score brims with theatrical quirks and lyricism and the robust Jorvik Orchestra – under the baton of Matthew Collins – rose to the challenge from the off, vulnerable moments doing little to detract from a striking musical backdrop. Support on-stage was also never lacking, Lois Cross’ direction aiding a versatile chorus unerring in spirit and commitment.

The way was suitably paved for star turns from Mark Simmonds and Rachel Kirby, the latter in superbly unhinged form as Mad Margaret, prickly vocals giving way to impassioned outbursts when required.

Simmonds, meanwhile, donned the cape of the Bad Baronet with a glorious high-camp villainy overflowing with bombast and self-loathing.

With such variety of characters so well represented, it was the brilliance of the operetta itself that was ultimately granted the limelight, its narrative leaping with finesse from biting satire to downright absurdity.

While Gilbert and Sullivan’s artworks are very much a product of their time, they undoubtedly possess an appeal that stretches far beyond it.

- Richard Powell