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Madness and mayhem in OperaQ’s Ruddigore

From left to right: Bryan Probets, Jason Barry-Smith and Christine Johnston.

Gothic horror, humour, and hi-jinks will be the order of the day when Opera Queensland Artistic Director Lindy Hume’s takes on Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddigore, or the Witch's Curse which premieres on 14 July at the Playhouse, QPAC (Queensland Performing Arts Centre).

Running until 29 July for 11 performances, the stylish and stylised show will reunite some of the stars of Lindy Hume’s critically acclaimed, 2015 production of Bernstein’s Candide, with Bryan Probets and Christine Johnston taking on the roles of Robin Oakapple and Mad Margaret.

Natalie Christie Peluso will feature as Rose Maybud alongside Kanen Breen as Richard Dauntless, Jason Barry-Smith as Sir Despard Murgatroyd, Roxane Hislop as Dame Hannah and Andrew Collis as Sir Roderic Murgatroyd.

Ruddigore, or the Witch's Curse follows the shy and law-abiding, gentleman farmer Robin Oakapple who is working up the courage to ask the beautiful Rose Maybud to marry him.

But he has a dark secret; he is the heir to a terrible curse befalling all Baronets of Ruddigore and has been living in disguise to escape his fate.

When the truth is discovered, Robin is bound to obey the family curse that dictates he must commit a dastardly crime every day – or face a torturous death.

Lindy Hume’s irreverent, fast-paced direction and Richard Roberts’ sepia-tinted Victoriana-inspired design promise a night of eccentricity and madness.

“The audience can expect the unexpected, some delicious pythonesque surprises, crazy larger than life characters, uninhibited villainy, the living dead, and a haunted castle - all set against the backdrop of a quaint English village,” Ms Hume said.

“Christine Johnston plays Mad Margaret, but to be honest, all of these characters are a little bit strange – they’re definitely pretty kooky, in the Addams Family sense, which is why I adore this piece. It’s totally quirky, eccentric and anarchic – all the things I love comedy to be, set to such fabulous music, with an amazing cast! What more could a director want?”

Sung in English. Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes in duration including a 20 minute interval.

Season: July 14-26. Bookings: or phone 136 246.