Monday, 23 November 2015

Princess Ida Cast

Many thanks to everyone who auditioned for a role in Princess Ida. It was an amazing afternoon with so much talent on display.

Our cast is as follows:
King Gama – Paul Kerswill
Hilarion – Gordon Hodges
Melissa – Emma Crew
Hildebrand – David Crew
Cyril – Joe Emler
Florian – Stephen Hoath
Arac – Ian Boughton
Guron – Barny Shergold
Scynthius – Peter Johnson

Princess Ida – Paula Fraser
Lady Psyche – Jo Bigg
Lady Blanche – Margaret Snape
Sacharissa – Shirley Hale
Ada – Ketina Orriss
Chloe – Katharine Crew

All the auditions were of an extremely high quality and you should all feel happy that you made the audition panel's job a hard one. A big thank you and well done to everyone.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Anthony Gordon

PBGS is very sad to announce the recent death of Anthony Gordon, one of our past tenors. A lovely, gentle man with a most beautiful voice. His last lead role with us was Hilarion in Princess Ida at Campus West, Welwyn, in 2004.

For those that remember Anthony, his funeral is at 2.00 pm at Harwood Park, Stevenage on Friday 4th December.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Ida rehearsals underway!

Our first Princess Ida rehearsal underway...
Princess Ida rehearsals are now underway with our Tuesday launch night!

Producer, Alison Gibbs, introduced the show and shared her vision for the production. And there is still time to come and join us. Rehearsals are every Tuesday night, 7.45pm-10pm at Streatley Village Hall.

Auditions will be held on Sunday 22nd November from 3pm, also at Streatley Village Hall. If individuals are not able to attend on this date, their audition may be videoed on a Tuesday night prior to the main audition date. All Auditionees must be members of the society or pay a £20 audition fee.

Princess Ida was Gilbert and Sullivan's 8th collaboration, opening in 1884 at the Savoy Theatre. A satire on the hot topics of the time - women's eduction, Feminism and Darwinism - it contains some of Sullivan's most beautiful music.

Our production will run from 6th - 9th April 2016.


Friday, 16 October 2015

Princess Ida

Our first Princess Ida rehearsal is this coming Tuesday 20th October. If you've thought about joining us in the past, come along and have a sing with us, we'd love to meet you.

The rehearsal will be from 7.45pm - 10pm at Streatley Village Hall, just off the A6 north of Luton:


Sunday, 11 October 2015

Thank you!

A BIG thank you to the audiences who came to support us for The Best of All Musical Worlds. I think you'll agree that it was a fabulous concert which showcased the many talented members that PBGS has! It also gave us a chance to sing with Luton Male Voice Choir, who ended their guest performance with us by giving a truly beautiful rendition of 'Bridge over Troubled Water'. Many thanks to their MD, Stuart Elliott, who also took up the baton for PBGS.

Our next PBGS show will be Gilbert & Sullivan's comedy of the sexes, Princess Ida, which we showcased at the end of our concert. Princess Ida will be presented at the Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin on the 6th - 9th April 2016. We really hope you will join us at Castle Adamant!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Best of All Musical Worlds

There is still time to buy tickets for our fantastic concert, The Best of all Musical Worlds - a mix of Musicals, Opera and Operetta with something for everyone! Including 'Master of the House', 'Half a Sixpence', 'Sunrise Sunset', 'Suddenly Seymore', 'Villia', 'The Ballad of Sweeney Todd', 'Skid Row' and much, much more, we promise you a wonderful evening.

Joining us on stage are our guest artists, Luton Male Voice Choir, led by Stuart Elliott who will also be our PBGS MD for this concert. Under Stuart's guidence we know both PBGS and Luton Male Voice Choir will be presenting something really special.

Please join us at the Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin on the 9th - 10th October. Tickets are still available through the Queen Mother Theatre Box Office.  


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

PBGS Noda Award!

PBGS is thrilled to announce that we have been awarded the District 3 East NODA Best Costume Award. Many thanks to Regional Rep Nova Horley for recognising our efforts. Nova praised the costumes for our 2014 production of Into the Woods and our 2015 production of HMS Pinafore, commenting especially on Pinafore's colourful, fresh and well fitting costumes and Little Red Riding Hood's lovely dress in Into the Woods.

PBGS has been nominated for this award in the past, and it is a tribute to the hard work that goes into making sure that our shows as good to look at as they are to listen to!

Into the Woods - Little Red and the Wolf
HMS Pinafore

Saturday, 29 August 2015

PBGS - what's coming next?

Now that Harrogate's over, what's next? In April we will be presenting Gilbert & Sullivan's comic war of the sexes, Princess Ida. Our Producer will be Alison Gibbs and our MD will be Margaret Johnson - both fresh from seeing us through our successful Trial by Jury at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival.

Before that we have our October Concert, The Best of All Musical Worlds, which will feature our guest artists, Luton Male Voice Choir. Luton MVC is a traditional male voice choir established in 1993 to enjoy "Friendship in Harmony" under the musical direction of Mr Stuart Elliott. We are looking forward joining them to present music from a a wide range of genres at the Queen Mother Theatre on 9th - 10th October.

Online booking is now open for The Best of All Musical Worlds. For further booking information visit our Shows and Tickets page.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Back in triumph from Harrogate!

Harrogate Theatre
Well done to all members of PBGS and Wolverton G&S for outstanding performances in Trial by Jury and The Zoo at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Harrogate. It was a huge team effort but well worth it to hear all that applause at the end just going on and on! Both productions have had wonderful feedback from a really appreciative and knowledgeable audience.

Many thanks are due to our wonderful Producers, Alison Gibbs (Trial) and Graham Breeze (Zoo), for two very original and sparkling productions that we were proud to present, our trusty MDs Margaret Johnson (Trial) and Mike Crofts (Zoo) for holding it all together in the Pit and getting the very best out of us, to Paula and Richard Fraser for the herculean effort of organising it all and getting us up there, and also thanks to Jo Bigg for organising wonderful accommodation.

Finally thanks to all the cast and crew of both societies for putting in so much effort and dedication. It was hard work, it was chaos in those dressing rooms, it was fast and frantic, but it was the most fun one can have on stage and an unforgettable achievement.

PBGS and Wolverton all mixed up back stage!
Mike and Margaret in The Pit
Wolverton and PBGS members rehearsing The Zoo on stage at Harrogate
All photos: Sue Wookey

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Harrogate here we come!

Well - it's finally here! This coming Saturday 22nd at 2.30pm we'll be taking the stage at Harrogate Theatre alongside fellow society Wolverton G&S, for our spectacular double bill of Trial by Jury and The Zoo! This will be the fourth time that PBGS has appeared at the International Festival (formerly held in Buxton). In 2000 we took The Gondoliers, in 2004 it was Princess Ida, and in 2011 we took our unique G&S Sketch Show to the Festival Fringe.

Local supporters who've seen these productions will know that the Harrogate audience is in for a treat, with two sparkling operettas that are very different from anything they will have seen before!

'Break a leg', as they say, to all our performers in both Societies!

Tickets are still available for those at the Festival who want to support us.


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Booking for Harrogate

Harrogate Theatre
Time to book your tickets to see us perform our fabulous fairy tale version of Trial by Jury on the 22nd August 2015 at 2.30pm at Harrogate Theatre. We will be taking our production up north as part of the Fringe event for the International Festival of Gilbert and Sullivan. And, in a double bill, Wolverton G&S will be joining us and taking their modern day version of The Zoo as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations.

Alison Gibbs's Noda Award Nominated production of Trial was a huge success when we performed it at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin in 2013, and we are thrilled to be performing it again in such a beautiful venue as part of an international event. If you would like to be there to support us, tickets are already going fast. They can be booked Via the Harrogate Theatre Website:

Harrogate Theatre.

We would love to see our friends there to cheer us on!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Time to buy your PBGS Polo Shirt!

Check out our smart new PBGS Polo Shirts! Produced in navy, they are top quality shirts and are available in a wide rage of sizes for only £15. They are available at rehearsals or by ordering via Perfect for rehearsing in and for all those show promotions we do!

We will be sporting these all around Harrogate when we take part in the Interntational G&S Festival  on the 22nd August. Nobody's going to miss that logo!


Monday, 13 July 2015

HMS Pinafore Review

Many thanks to Nova Horley of Noda for her review of our June production of HMs Pinafore:
"PBGS really does G&S well – we had a super set and great costumes, with some interesting direction from new Director Amanda Sayers."
"The costumes were colourful, I loved the ladies red and blue dresses – very fetching, and also the turquoise that Hebe and Jebe wore. As always with PBGS they looked fresh and managed to suit everyone."
"The two stand out characters for me were Graham Breeze as Captain Corcoran and Paula Fraser as Josephine – they both gave their parts energy and expression along with a real understanding of the meaning of the words, both sung and spoken, combined with humour and angst where relevant. Well done to you both." 
Read Nova's full review which you can also download here as a PDF.

Photo: XMO4 Productions

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Trial by Jury at Harrogate

Remember Trial By Jury? Hopefully you do, because it's time for us to dust off our fairytale characters as we start (resume?) rehearsals this coming Sunday for our performance at the Harrogate International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. We will be taking the stage on the afternoon of 22th August as part of the Festival Fringe.

Our ranks will be swelled by members of Wolverton G&S who we look forward to welcoming into the fold! We are forming a unique partnership with Wolverton, who are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year by taking their production of The Zoo to perform on the same afternoon. In a unique opportunity, performers are able to perform in both productions.

Reahearsals start at 3pm on Sunday 12th July at Streatley Village Hall.  

Photos by XMO4 Productions 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

A Message from our Presidents

A lovely message to all of us from our Presidents Elected:
To Putt,

We’d just like to add our congratulations and thanks to you all for entertaining us so well on Friday and Saturday. It was a joy to be in the audience and, as Alistair said, “I haven’t seen so much movement in Pinafore”. You all seemed to be having a wonderful time too – and in our book, that’s what makes it all so well worthwhile (and the hard work of its organisation and money raising!).

Thank you to all those ladies who helped with costumes too. It was greatly appreciated.

No doubt we’ll see you next at Harrogate and we look forward to that very much.

Sincerely yours,

Anne & Tony Critchley
Our thanks also go to Anne and Tony whose sterling support for PBGS is invaluable!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Thank you to our audiences!

A big thank you to all who joined us onboard HMS Pinafore this week. Your support and appreciation has meant that we have had a fantastic time! Pinafore may have docked, but there is still plenty going on:

We are off to Harrogate on the 22nd August 2015 when we will be performing our production of Trial by Jury at Harrogate Theatre as part of the Fringe event for the International Festival of Gilbert and Sullivan. We will be forming a unique partnership with Wolverton Gilbert & Sullivan Society, who are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, and who will be taking their production of The Zoo to perform on the same afternoon. Any Gilbert and Sullivan lovers who would like to attend the Festival and cheer us on will find more information at

Our next local production will be an autumn concert at the Queen Mother Theatre where we will present The Best of All Musical Worlds from 9th - 10th October 2015. Watch this space for more details! And in Spring 2016 we will be back with Gilbert and Sullivan's battle of the sexes in a production of Princess Ida.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

HMS Pinafore sets sail!

Now give three cheers, we'll lead the way - Hoorah, Hoorah, Hooray! Our sparkling production of HMS Pinafore opens Wednesday at the Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin. We are now under full sail on the 'ocean blue', bringing you the full G&S mix of romance triumphant against unlikely odds, surprising secrets, mistaken identity, mixed up babies and quality singing!

Pinafore runs from Wednesday to Saturday with a Saturday Matinee. Tickets available from the Queen Mother Theatre. Book now to avoid disappointment as our shows are always popular!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

One week to Pinafore!

One week to go until we take the stage at the Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin, with our fabulous production of HMS Pinafore. There will be a few G&S surprises along the way in this extended show!

As you can see from our rehearsal photos, we are working very hard in a show that will be full of movement and humour as Ralph, the lowliest Tar who ploughs the water, seeks the hand of Josephine, the Captain's Daughter, despite the best efforts of Dick Deadeye, Sir Joseph Porter and her Father.

Ordering options:
  • Place an order by clicking on the button above for full online booking.
  • Or ring PBGS on 07946 264886. Please also ring this number for special seating requirements.

Friday, 15 May 2015

HMS PInafore

20 days to go to our production of HMS Pinafore! Will Ralph, 'the lowliest tar who sails the water' win the hand of Josephine and steal her away from her 'papa's luxurious home, hung with ancestral armour and old brasses', or will Joesphine end up Sir Jospeh Porter and a lifetime of hornpipes? Well - this is G&S. Can you guess? Book your tickets online by clicking our order button, or visit our Shows and Tickets page for more options.

'A British Tar is a soaring soul
as free as a mountain bird
his energetic fist should be ready to resist
a dictatorial word '

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Why Mike Leigh loves G&S

Mike Leigh, who is directing The Pirates of Penzance for the ENO, talks to The Times about why he thinks Glibert and Sullivan are underrated geniuses:
'The inscription of WS Gilbert’s memorial on the Thames Embankment in London reads “His Foe was Folly, and his Weapon Wit”. This is too coy. Gilbert saw the world as a chaotic place in which our lives are brutal accidents of birth, fate and human blunder, a jungle of confusion and delusion, where we all aspire to be other than what we are, and where nobody is really who or what they seem to be. Power. Status. Rank. Duty. Hypocrisy and affectation. Youth and old age. Gilbert’s obsessions inform all these operas, his greatest being the arbitrary nature of society’s absurd rules and regulations...'
 Read the rest of Leigh's fascinating article here at

For your own slice of local G&S, don't forget to order your tickets for our June production of HMS Pinafore by clicking on our order button. For more booking info see here.