or, The Witch’s Curse
April 6 & 13, 2019, Norwalk Concert Hall, 2:30 and 7:30pm
Ruddigore is Gilbert and Sullivan’s satire of Victorian melodrama, complete with a sweet, naive ingenue, and even more naive young hero, a mustachio-twirling villain who is cursed to commit a crime a day, an arrogant foster-brother, a madwoman reminiscent of Ophelia and a whole portrait gallery of ghosts!
Sullivan’s music is clever, rich and complex, and in the ghost scene rather (intentionally) Wagnerian.
Cast of Characters
Rose Maybud: Brett Kroeger
Robin Oakapple: Michael Cosentino
Dick Dauntless: TBA
Dame Hannah: Wendy Falconer
Zorah: Janet Aldrich
Sir Despard Murgatroyd: Ben Hoyer
Old Adam: Frank Sisson/Chris Hetherington
Mad Margaret: Marion Shulman
Sir Roderick Murgatroyd: John Matilaine
Ruth: Gisella Surapine
Chorus of Bridesmaids,
Chorus of Bucks and Blades, who also play the chorus of ghostly Ancestors
The story of Ruddigore
The village of Rederring has been endowed with a permanent corps of Bridesmaids, but there have been no weddings in some time, because while Rose is the most beautiful girl in the village, all the young men are too shy to ask her. The Bridesmaids ask Dame Hannah why she doesn’t marry, and she reveals that she was pledged to Roderick Murgatroyd, but when he inherited the title of Baronet of Ruddigore, he was forced to commit a crime each day or die unpleasantly.
Rose and even shyer Robin are clearly attracted to each other and discuss “asking for a friend.”
Robin’s foster brother Dick Dauntless returns from years at sea and while he offers to help Robin marry Rose, he falls for her himself.
Enter Sir Despard Murgatroyd, the current Bad Baronet of Ruddigore who was once pledged to Mad Margaret. Richard tells Despard that Robin is his long lost elder brother, Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd and should have inherited the title and curse instead of him.
At the end of the first act, Robin becomes the Bad Baronet and Despard is free to lead a blameless life with Margaret, and Richard takes up with Rose.
In the second act, Robin is threatened by the ghosts of his ancestors whose portraits come to life, because he has been avoiding committing any actual crimes. After some vigorous persuasion, he agrees to carry off a maiden, and sends his servant, Old Adam to capture someone. He returns with Dame Hannah, who threatens Robin with a dagger. Robin calls for help and Roderick steps down again from his portrait to discover Hannah, his old fiance.
Robin runs back in with the solution, pointing out that suicide itself is a crime and the curse is inoperative, and all ends happily.