King Arthur

An NSO Chorus touring production

“A chest-beatingly British tongue-in-cheek romp.” “Jennifer Clark as Cupid and Venus stole the show vocally and her rendition of Fairest Isle was pure magic.”

“Catrin Woodruff’s Honour in a Union Jack outfit brought the house down.”  

         Louise Flind – Argus

or The British Worthy

Henry Purcell

May / June 2016
Lewes Town Hall
Barcombe Village Hall
All Saints Centre, Lewes
Hurstpierpoint Village Centre
The Birley Centre, Eastbourne

NSO company and chorus
NSO Players
Conductor John Hancorn
Director Boo Wild

Tim Locke King Arthur/Saxon Priest/Farmer
Janet Ormerod  Merlin/High Priestess/Spirit
Georgina Thorburn Philidel/Shepherdess/Siren
Hiroshi Kanazawa Saxon Priest/Warrior/Lover
Richard Fisher King Oswald/Spirit/Farmer
Jason Crook Grimbald/Cold Genius/Sylvan
Jennifer Clark Cupid/Venus
Catrin Woodruff Honour
Janet Forbes Shepherdess/Siren/Nymph
Eva Rustige Saxon Priestess/Nymph
Catrin Fisher-Jones Spirit
Fran Mortimer Spirit
John Newman Spirit/Farmer
David Foster Osmond
Sharon Lloyd Mother 1
Marie Cobb Mother 2
Alison Reid Mother 3
Sally Boyes Mother 4
Julie Griffiths Young Boy/Messenger
Kate Horscraft Emmeline


Director Boo Wild injected some wonderfully zany, Pythonesque humour into Purcell’s opera. Following the solemn opening scene sacrificing white horses to the gods, we had Arthur’s army steering their way through Kentish mists, past a series of traffic cones and a Diversion road sign to a sheer cliff fall. The famous  passacaglia featured a gigantic heart of paper rose petals laid out by the chorus on the floor.

The ‘frozen chorus’ saw Grimbald emerge from a huge fridge in a rubbish dump strewn with a mattress and other junk. Cupid stripped off her boiler suit to reveal a bikini beneath and wrought her enchanting powers of love, while Honour appeared in a Union Jack costume in the final pageant where the two battling kings resolved  their differences and all ended happily.

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