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Tynan was superb as Monique. The character spends much of her time laughing and making ecstatic noises, all using tricky coloratura. Tynan made it all seem easy and a natural part of the character. Monique is pretty much a good time girl, but in Tynan's hands you didn't care as she was so charming, and so well sung.

Thorpe created quite an entrance as the prince's grandmother, with her pink hair and vivid hued costume. Her magic was obviously tailoring, she used a tape measure and scissors to effect the transformation of the prince into a sofa. Thorpe has the disadvantage of being rather too young for the role, but she displayed suitable gravitas and sensibly did not attempt to play old.

George von Bergen impressed as Edward, the Englishman Monique consoles herself with after the prince disappears. And Alinka Kozari, Anna Lesse and Patricia Orr created three charmingly air-headed girls who have a trio on the sofa.

The twelve-piece band, under Dominic Wheeler's fine direction, played the music as if they had known it for ever and seemed to enjoy it immensely. I would have quite liked to hear the piece with the band in a pit. Wheeler ensured that they did not dominate the singers but the instrumental sound was a little too present for my taste. In a piece where words count, the singers had too work just a little to hard to ensure a degree of comprehension in the words.

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Copyright © 19 November 2007 Robert Hugill, London UK


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