GILBERT and Sullivan’s ‘Fairy Opera’, Iolanthe, is a delicious political satire, with a particular swipe at the House of Lords and the hereditary system.

The evening got off to a good start with a delightfully assured orchestral overture, very cleanly directed by conductor Matthew Collins.

The following Fairy Chorus, Tripping Hither – the set awash in delicate, beautiful light, the chorus of fairies dressed up as cleaning ladies, was very good indeed. The Queen, Maggy Lamb, holding the mother-of-all dusters, performed a touching act of reconciliation with Lois Cross’ Iolanthe.

Touching too was the Aria None shall part us sung by Alex Schofield (Strephon) and Clare Rachel Greener (Phyllis). Both singers performed well throughout the show, but some of Ms Greener’s lines were outrageously difficult and the singer performed with real gutsy courage.

The Chorus of Peers’ regal Loudly let the trumpet bray, was full of confidence and comic timing with strong orchestral support (brass). Comic timing was very much on display when Paul Blenkiron’s Lord Chancellor took to the stage.

The solo The Law is the true embodiment was fine, When I Went To The Bar was even better, Mr Blenkiron clearly relishing his role as much as us.

The first act finale was excellently choreographed by Director Lucy Thomson-Smith and the singers clearly made the most of their meatier roles. A fine, stately bass solo opened Act Two – Derek Thomson, but it was Lord Mountararat’s When Britain Really Ruled The Waves that really hit the spot. Mark Simmonds was the stand-out performer and I enjoyed his every contribution.

There was a heartfelt Oh, Foolish Fay performed by Ms Lamb, and a very fine trio If You Go In, where Stuart Roberts joined Messrs Blenkiron and Simmonds. This was a very enjoyable evening’s entertainment.