Friday, 10 September 2021

Box Office Open for 50 YEARS OF SHOWS!

 

Exciting news! Booking is now open for our PBGS 50 YEARS OF SHOWS, a celebratory concert of all the shows performed by PBGS over the last 50 years. Featuring Gilbert & Sullivan, operetta, musicals and Sondheim, we are presenting two nights of high quality singing, hilarious sketches, and also some dancing! Booking for our venue at Mountford Hall, Hitchin Town Hall is easy through TryBooking with tickets at £12 and £9 for concessions (which also includes Armed Forces members and NHS Workers for these concerts). We are looking forward to sharing our 50th celebrations with you all!

You can click on our Buy Online button at the top right of this screen or use our QR code below, but don't delay as we think tickets will sell fast.


 

Sunday, 29 August 2021

We are taking the stage again!

We are very excited to tell you that we are back rehearsing again and will be taking the stage on the 22nd and 23rd October with our 50th Anniversary Concert!

PBGS 50 Years of Shows will feature favourite highlights from the many productions we've done over the years with plenty of G&S, Musicals, Sondheim and sketches. There will be something for everyone, both for our audiences and for those for us who are desperate to get back on stage!

We will be performing at the Mountford Hall, Hitchin Town Hall, Hitchin SG5 1HX. This is a great concert venue with lovely acoustics, bar, a central location and great parking nearby. We are looking forward to seeing you there and sharing some musical magic with you.

Booking will be online and our Box Office will be open soon with full details and links.

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Tuesday, 24 August 2021

PBGS 50 Years Singing #12: Trial by Jury at Harrogate 2015


Continuing our look back at 50 years of PBGS, in 2015, in a unique collaboration, we performed once again at The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival (now in a new home at Harrogate) alongside fellow G&S Society, Wolverton. PBGS performed our acclaimed Fairytale production of Trial by Jury in the Festival Fringe in Harrogate Theatre, in a double bill with Wolverton G&S's The Zoo. A few members from each Society crossed over into each other’s shows to add to the fun and dressing room mayhem! 

It quickly became evident the main advantage of moving from Buxton to Harrogate for the Festival was Betty’s Teashop. Fortified by cake the Society triumphed and the appreciative audience carried on applauding long after the curtain came down, much to our delight.





Tuesday, 10 August 2021

PBGS 50 Years Singing #11: PBGS stages our first Stephen Sondheim

Our 2014 production of Into the Woods
 Continuing our look at the history of PBGS, in 2014 we expanded our musical horizons to tackle the challenges of Stephen Sondheim by putting on a production of 'Into the Woods', a twist on old fairytales which weaves several fairy-tale characters into a story of magic beans and the danger of wishes. 
 
'Into the Woods' is a very difficult show, both musically and production wise, but it also has lots of really wonderful parts which gave us a chance to showcase the huge range of talent we have in the Society. 
 
Since then we have tackled two more Sondheim’s: 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum' (2017) and 'A Little Night Music' (2018), gathering several NOVAtion Awards and Nominations along the way.
 
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 2017
 
A Little Night Music 2018


Sunday, 1 August 2021

Back together singing at last!

Everyone at the Big Sing

Finally, the moment we’ve been waiting for for so long, PBGS back together singing again!

This is The PBGS Big Sing, recording the chorus numbers for our 50th Anniversary CD of ‘Trial by Jury’ and ‘The Sorcerer’ at Area 88 in Milton Keynes. Over the last 15 months we have all stayed in touch through Zoom with show readings, quizzes and bingo nights, but this is the real thing - all of us raising our voices together doing what we love. Many thanks to our MD, Graham Thomson, for keeping us together and making the day such fun, to Cynthia at the piano with her page-turner-extraordinaire other half, and to the wonderful Mike Crofts on sound. And also to Teresa and Jon Newham for photos and looking after us all. This was ‘too much happiness’. We really raised that roof! 

Watch this space for details of the CD when we have finished recording and production.




Tuesday, 27 July 2021

PBGS 50 Years Singing #10: Singing for the BBC

 

Waiting outside the Harold Pinter Theatre

Continuing our history of PBGS as part of our 50th celebrations, on 25th June 2012 we were asked by the BBC's "The One Show" (with one weeks' notice!) if we would perform the opening chorus from Iolanthe for them. This performance was to be recorded as part of the story of how Fairy lights gained their name. Iolanthe premiered at the Savoy and was the first ever show to be lit by electric light. New lighting technologies made such special effects as sparkling fairy wands possible for the first time. The principal fairies' heads were lit by wreaths of small illuminated stars attached to a battery.

Luckily we had a set of fairy costumes (as you do!) so we quickly choreographed the number, organised two hasty rehearsals and gathered as much fairy dust as possible! A small group us and two members of Wolverton G&S Society headed to the Harold Pinter Theatre in London's West End. After about ten takes with some close ups and wider shots, the filming was over 45 minutes earlier than scheduled, much to the production team’s delight.

Although the sequence ended up on the cutting room floor due to time constraints on the day, we loved being involved in this and we can say we have performed on a West End Stage!


 

Monday, 5 July 2021

PBGS 50 Years Singing #8: The G&S Sketch Show in Buxton

Continuing our history of PBGS, in 2011 we returned for a third time to Buxton and the International G&S Festival with our Gilbert and Sullivan Sketch Show, which we performed at the newly refurbished Pavillion Theatre as part of the Festival Fringe. Written and produced by current Chairwoman, Paula Fraser, it took the audience on a whirlwind tour through all the Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire, linking highlights and themes together and marking each one with a succession of hats and props. It was huge fun for us and the audience, with some crazy moments backstage as we constantly changed characters, but it showcased the huge range of talent in the Society by giving everyone something to perform.





 

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

PBGS 50 Years Singing #7: We move to the QMT Hitchin

Iolanthe 2009

Continuing our story of PBGS over the last 50 years, 2009 PBGS moved to its current venue - the Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin - following a couple of performances at Henlow Theatre. Rising costs, and the challenges of filling a theatre as big as Campus West in Welwyn Garden City with a smaller membership, made the QMT a much more viable home for the Society. The move also brought us new audiences, especially for Gilbert and Sullivan! Our first production was Iolanthe where we got the chance to spread some fairy dust on our new home.