By W.S. Gilbert, Music By Sir Arthur Sullivan
Following a sellout production of H.M.S. Pinafore in Milwaukie this spring, LOoP is coming back to Southwest Portland to present Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore in October. Created at the height of their creative partnership, Ruddigore takes a comic swipe at the world of the Gothic Melodrama, with its evil aristocrats, virtuous maidens, honest heroes, ghosts, and curses.
As a result of a witch’s curse, whoever holds the title of Baronet of Ruddigore is compelled to commit one terrible crime every day, or perish in agony. Desperate to avoid this horrifying fate, young Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd faked his death and ran away to live his life as a simple farmer, Robin Oakapple. Robin falls madly in love with Rose Maybud, but is far too shy to express himself to her. Rose, abandoned as a baby with only a book of etiquette, is determined to live her life by those principles, and so while madly in love with Robin, is far too proper to say anything to him.
The arrival of Robin’s foster brother, the boisterous but less-than-honest Richard Dauntless, gives Robin an opportunity to have someone speak to Rose on his behalf, but when Richard proceeds to fall in love with and subsequently propose to Rose himself, the three of them find themselves well and truly entangled.
To complicate matters further, Robin’s younger brother Sir Despard Murgatroyd, current holder of the title of Baronet of Ruddigore, arrives in town in order to carry off Rose Maybud as his crime for the day. Richard reveals to Sir Despard the truth of Robin’s identity, and the fact that the cursed title should rightly belong to his older brother. Sir Despard dramatically reveals Robin’s true identity to the village, transferring the curse to him, much to the delight of Mad Margaret, his former fiancee whom he left at the altar in a previous crime.
As the honest and upstanding Robin is reluctantly forced to become Sir Ruthven again and embark on a life of crime, can he discover a way to beat the curse, win back the love of Rose Maybud, and avoid an agonizing death at the hands of his own ghostly ancestors?
LOoP’s production of Ruddigore will be performed at the Multnomah Arts Center from the 21st to the 30th of October. Friday and Saturday evening performances will start at 7:00pm, and Sunday matinees will start at 1:00pm. The production will be directed by Artistic Director Laurence Cox, Music Director Reece Sauve, and Producer Sara Rivara.
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