LIVELY music and lots of laughter are always on the menu at Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas and this Opera Anywhere production brings out all the best in a lesser performed work written by the pair that is full of songs and fun.

Taking to task the artistic self indulgence of the Victorian era of the 1870s, the story of Patience sets out to show us what happens when a posh poet arrives on the scene and all the girls fall in love with him, only to discover that he prefers the local milkmaid Patience.

When members of the army turn up and identify themselves as the girls’ boyfriends and with yet another posh poet coming on the scene, rivalry for the girls’ favours take yet another step further which means there is lots to sing about.

In typical Gilbert and Sullivan fashion for spilling the beans, we finally discover that our poet’s long hair is not his own, he hates poetry and is in fact just a normal guy who loves a pretty girl which tells us a lot about the perceived opinions on the aesthetic values of the day.

A professional cast of 10 fine singers bring a touch of magic to the familiar score, accompanied throughout by pianist Jonathan Pease and flautist Nick Planas all under the direction of Mike Woodward.

Opera Anywhere, who performed at Weymouth’s Nothe Fort in August, must be applauded for their highly professional productions as they take operatic works to small towns and modest venues, touring the country with much loved music. Long may they continue to shine.