A MALVERN musician has added his own unique touch to a much-loved Gilbert and Sullivan show being staged in Bosbury this weekend.

The Bosbury Theatre Players' production of Iolanthe will include a version of a song included in the original script but which did not survive the production's first-ever run.

Ian Gifford, who plays the part of Strephon in the musical, has turned it into a biting modern political satire.

"When the show was first performed this song, Fold Your Flapping Wings, was dropped after the first few performances," he said. "Several Victorian critics considered it to have 'socialistic connotations', so it was dropped."

Producer Linda Sinker managed to locate a copy of the song after an exhaustive search on the Internet.

But when the company finally got their hands on it, they found that the references in the words had dated so much that the song no longer made sense.

So Mr Gifford, a keen amateur singer-songwriter who performs with the Pax Singers and the Greenwood Voices among others, and is famed locally for ditties such as Jimmy the Tortoise and There's Not Enough Beer in This Crazy World, set about penning more modern lyrics.

He could not resist the temptation to take a swipe or two at several modern political figures.

"John Prescott and Anne Widdecombe are both featured in it," he said. "I just hope none of their friends are in the audience!"

The world premiere of the song can be heard on Wednesday at Bosbury Village Hall. The production runs until Saturday and tickets are available on 01531 640837.