Monday, 26 June 2017

Comedy Tonight

Our rehearsals for our next show A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum are well underway. Here we are setting the opening number 'Comedy Tonight'. 'Nothing that's formal, nothing that's normal, something for everyone, a comedy tonight!' Sums it up really! Forum is madcap from beginning to end as the slave, Pseudolous, tries to gain his (her?!) freedom through a series of ever more convoluted fibs. 'Pantaloons and tunics, courteseans and eunuchs, funerals and chases, baritones and basses...' you name it, we've got it. Foum will be on at The Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin from 4th - 7th October. Booking opens in a few weeks so watch this space!

Richard Fraser as Marcus Lycus with a bevy of beauties
Bryony Reynolds as Pseudolous
Photos: Stephen Hoath

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

In memory of Maisie Smith

We are sad to announce that long term Honorary Life Member Maisie Smith has passed away. Maisie was one of our founder members and performed with PBGS for over 20 years from our earliest shows in the 1970s to the late 1990s, along with her husband Peter, our first Stage Manager, and daughter Ruth. As well as performing on stage, Maisie helped with costumes and was always ready with a needle to save us from a frock disaster! Her gentle humour and kindness were much missed when she finally retired from the Society. The photo above shows Maisie regally medieval in our 1984 Production of 'Princess Ida'.

We send our condolences to her daughter Ruth and the family. Maisie's funeral is on Friday 16th June at 2pm at St Marks Church, Hitchin.


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Important Rehearsal Notice

The principal read-through rehearsal on Sunday 28th has been cancelled because of the Bank Holiday, but everyone is called for Tuesday 30th May when we set the opening number, Comedy tonight!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

We now have a cast for our next production, Sondheim's 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum':

Domina – Sue Wookey
Erronius – Jon Newham
Hero – Joe Emler
Hysterium – Graham Breeze
Marcus Lycus – Richard Fraser
Miles Gloriosus – Barny Shergold
Philia – Elle-Louise Berrie
Pseudolous – Bryony Reynolds
Senex – Peter Sayers

Congratulations to all of you who have been cast as principals in what is sure to be a fantastic show!


Saturday, 8 April 2017

'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum' Launch night

So it's goodbye to all things Piratical and Essex because our next show has arrived! We will be launching our production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum on Tuesday 18th April at 7.45, Streatley Village Hall. If you've ever thought of joining PBGS this would be a great time to come along and meet us and have a sing! New members are always welcome - both onstage or offstage (there are loads of ways to participate and support the Society).
  • Meet the MD
  • Get an introduction to the story and characters
  • Sing through the music
  • Find out about auditions
  • Discuss Society membership
 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a madcap, hilarious romp by Stephen Sondheim (who we last visited in our 2014 production of Into the Woods). But Forum is pure farce, made into a successful film in 1966 staring Zero Mostel as the Roman slave Pseodolos - "the lyingest, cheatingest, sloppiest slave in all of Rome".
'Pseudolos schemes to win the heart of the beautiful virgin, Phelia, for his young master, Hero. In exchange, Hero will grant Pseudolos his freedom once and for all. However, things are never as easy as they seem. Chaos ensues with hairbrained schemes, cases of mistaken indentity, slamming doors and convoluted plot twists. One of the funniest musicals ever written, Forum promises '"something for everyone: a comedy tonight!"'
So come along and join in the fun, and if you are new, we will make you welcome and introduce you to everyone.


Sunday, 2 April 2017

A BIG thank you to our audiences!

A BIG thank you to our lovely audiences - we've had a huge amount of fun presenting 'Pirates' to you and your enjoyment and feedback has made this a wonderful week. Here is a great review from The Luton News. There is a G&S quote for every occasion and 'too much happiness' (Gondoliers) fits the bill. We are very sorry to say goodbye to Penzance but are excited to be heading for Rome for Sondheim's madly hilarious A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

'Forum' will run from 4th - 7th October at our usual venue, the Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin and we are looking forward to presenting to you one of the funniest musicals ever written with farcical chaos, mistaken identities, plot twists and turns, and "something for everyone: a comedy tonight!"

Photo:  XMO4 Production Photography. Poster: Sue Wookey

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Opening Night! Break a leg everyone and get handbags at the ready because the Pirates are here! Don't miss this hilarious production by Richard Fraser where Essex meets Pirates meets the Cornish Police and mayhem ensues.
'Having become an apprentice at the age of 8 to a bunch of useless Pirates, Frederic reaches his 21st birthday and swears to leave them and lead a blameless life – which means he will have to kill all the Pirates. As he leaves, he promises to marry his nursemaid, Ruth (47) until he sees other female faces in a bunch of Essex Girls on a day trip to the beach. Picking Mabel, he meets her father, The Major General, who pretends to be an orphan to escape from the pirates who want to run off with all his daughters. The Pirates are also all orphans and let them go, but they find out about the lie and head to Penzance to take revenge on the Major General, taking on a terrified Cornish Police force, despite the girls pleading for mercy. Until a secret is revealed by Ruth….'
All this week including a Saturday Matinee at the QMT Hitchin. Still a few tickets available for every performance, but they are going fast!

Pirates of Penzance
Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin
29th March - 1st April (including Saturday Matinee)


Thursday, 16 March 2017

David Crew as the Major General and Stephen Hoath as the Pirate King
Tickets are selling very fast for our latest production of The Pirates of Penzance so visit the Box Office now if you want to be certain of seats for particular night!

Pirates is one of G&S's most popular shows and Richard Fraser's production is full of surprising twists that bring the humour bang up-to-date. Essex girls on a day out to the beach meet posh pirates of very little brain. Throw in some revenge, equality policing, orphans, some confusion over leap years and the odd cutlass or two and mayhem ensues. Fabulous singing, handbag dancing and piratical leaping about. How can you resist?

Emma Crew as Kate, and our Choreographer Vikki Rehm with David Crew

Pirates of Penzance
Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin
29th March - 1st April (including Saturday Matinee)


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Our own Pirates of Penzance Lego Movie

A very funny Pirates treat for you all!

Order your tickets now for our Pirates with a twist. Essex girls out for a day on the beach meet a bunch of Pirates who have been at sea for years. What could go wrong?

Pirates of Penzance
Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin
29th March - 1st April (including Saturday Matinee)


Tuesday, 21 February 2017



PBGS is interested in recruiting more patrons to its ranks. This is an excellent way to support the society and ensure that we can keep presenting the shows that you love. There are three levels of patronage:

Bronze – This costs £25 per year. For this you get one free ticket to one of our shows (this is your choice) during that year. Your name will be listed in our programmes as a supporter and you will receive quarterly updates about PBGS.

Silver – This costs £50 per year. For this you get one free ticket to both our spring and autumn shows during that year. Your name will be listed in our programmes and you will receive quarterly updates.

Gold – This costs £75 per year. For this you get two free tickets to both our shows during that year, your name listed in our programmes and quarterly updates as well as voting rights at the AGM.

Patron membership runs from the month you sign up, and you will receive a reminder shortly before the end of ‘your’ year.

To sign up, all you have to do is to contact Vikki Rehm on 07817 043871 email: with details of what level you would like, your contact details, and your communication preferences for the updates.

This is an excellent opportunity for supporters of the Society to get more involved. We look forward to hearing from you!


Monday, 20 February 2017

Pirates, "princesses" and WPC's

Photo shoots for press releases are always fun and when you get to dress up as a pirate, police woman, a "little princess" or the Major General, well you know it is going to be a giggle. And so it was, that some of the cast from our March production of The Pirates of Penzance ventured out on a brisk February morning and headed into the Hertfordshire countryside to the dusty old ruins of General Stanley's baronial hall.

After a quick change into our costumes, Victoria, our fabulous photographer set us in position and the shoot began. We had pirates chasing daughters, daughters posing and preening, the Major General squaring up to the Pirate King not to mention the very courageous WPC Rehm arresting the Pirate King. The click of the camera shutter echoed around the set as we re-enacted some of the best known scenes from the show. We probably could have finished a little sooner had we not laughed so much at our very glamorous "daughters" tottering their way through the ruins in giant high heeled shoes and not very warm outfits, or spent so long feeling the lovely plush (and warm) dressing gown of the Major General's second act costume but we were having fun!

So watch out for the photos from the shoot coming soon and don't forget to order your tickets now for our show "The Pirates of Penzance", 29 March - 1 April 2017 at The Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin.

Photos: © Stephen Hoath

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Time to book your tickets for 'Pirates'!

Some photos of our ladies Pirates rehearsal in Hitchin last week to tease you - just a taster of what happens on pirate infested Cornish beaches these days! Tickets are already selling so time to get booking.

Pirates of Penzance, Queen Mother Theatre Hitchin, Wednesday and Saturday Matinee £11, Thursday, Friday and Saturday Evening £12. Click on the button below or on the top right of this page for online booking with the QMT.

Emma Crew as 'Kate' and Bryony Reynolds as 'Edith'
MD Graham Thomson and Producer Richard Fraser

Choreographer Vikki Rehm with the ladies chorus

Ladies chorus with bumpers, aye, ever so many...

'Edith', 'Kate' and Katharine Crew as 'Isobel'


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Burns Night Celebration

Felici are presenting a lovely Burns Night Celebration concert this coming Saturday night, 7.30 at St Mary's Pirton:
'Do come along and support members and ex-members of PBGS (Jo Bigg, Zoe Jasko, Margaret Snape, Bob Little and David Crew) in an evening of Victorian and Scottish songs and poems - plus G&S of course! And Clifton will be playing the famous (and very difficult!) Rustle of Spring. There won’t be haggis, sadly, but there will be some Scottish nibbles, with mulled wine and whisky available! Please dress in something Scottish if you’d like to and help to make it a festive evening!'
 Tickets (£10) available from Margaret Johnson 01462 711399 or at the door. Proceeds in support of St Mary's Church, Pirton.