Tuesday, 13 April 2021

PBGS 50 Years singing - early days at Putteridge Bury

After being founded at the Putteridge Bury Teacher Training College in 1971, early G&S productions took place in the College Refectory during the October half-term holidays. The Society's growing reputation for high musical standards and witty productions meant it expanded beyond a College Society, drawing its membership from across three counties! Even when the Society moved its main productions to Luton Library Theatre (now St Georges), we still performed summer concerts at Putteridge Bury and rehearsed there until 1992. It was a great pleasure to work in such a beautiful building surrounded by lovely grounds. Here are some photos of ‘The Crowd’ from our 1978 Trial by Jury (performed at Putteridge Bury) and our 1980 production of The Pirates of Penzance at Luton Library Theatre.

1980 Pirates of Penzance

1980 Pirates of Penzance

1980 Pirates of Penzance

1978 Trial by Jury - 'The Crowd'


Tuesday, 6 April 2021

PBGS 50 Years Singing - How PBGS started!

Peter Jenkyns, Ruddigore 1983

As this is PBGS’s 50th Anniversary we will be posting some snippets about our history throughout the year, so look out for our ‘PBGS 50 Years Singing’ Specials! So – how did our Society start? PBGS was founded in 1971 by Peter Jenkyns, lecturer at what was then the Putteridge Bury Teacher Training College just outside Luton, and June Pickard who was studying to become a teacher there. Peter was an accomplished singer, composer of children's vocal music and MD - even sought after by the D'Oyly Carte as a patter baritone - and June was an experienced performer and producer who had trained at the Royal College of Music. The first PBGS members were all students who were part of the Department known as 'Music Main' and their very first production was that perennial favourite, The Pirates of Penzance. Above is Peter, in a great photo taken by The Luton News in 1983 to promote Ruddigore, and below a programme from our 1973 Gondoliers and a photo from our 1976 production of The Yeomen of the Guard!


Photo of Peter Jenkyns © The Luton News

Saturday, 13 March 2021

50th Anniversary merchandise survey


To celebrate PBGS's 50th Anniversary we will be producing a few items with our 50th Anniversary logo on them. The choice of merchandise is wide (shirts, water bottles, bags...), so to help us narrow the field and create the items you really want we have created a short survey. If you are interested please help us by taking a few moments to complete the survey:

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

It's our 50th Anniversary!

Our 1992 21st Anniversary Concert

Welcome to PBGS's 50th Anniversary Year! It's not going to be quite the year we were hoping for, but watch this space as there are plans afoot. In the meantime, here is a nostalgic look back at our 21st and 40th celebrations (somehow we missed 30)!

In 1992 we celebrated with a special concert and a meal. I've posted the programme so you can see what we sung - we certainly covered the whole repertoire! In 2011, for our 40th, we took The G&S Sketch Show, written by our current Chairwoman, Paula Fraser, to the International G&S Festival in Buxton, performing at the Pavillion Theatre as part of the Festival Fringe. It was a great afternoon and very well received, if somewhat hectic! We also performed it in Hitchin with special guests and a dinner. 

Hopefully, although our current celebratory plans have had to change, we will still be able to bring you a staged production of The Yeomen of the Guard next October (we have all our collective fingers crossed). And before then we will have a surprise for you!

We miss seeing you all in the theatre. As a group of dedicated G&S and Musical Theatre fans, we can't wait to entertain you once again.

21st Anniversary programme
At Buxton in 2011 for the G&S Sketch Show

Pavillion Theatre, Buxton


Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Merry Christmas from PBGS

Merry Christmas from all of us at PBGS!

It's been a strange year with no shows to present to you and we were especially disappointed to have to withdraw our wonderful double-bill of Trial by Jury and The Sorcerer at our Tech rehearsal. We've missed getting together to rehearse and sing the music we love. 

Despite all the difficulties we are still here, still ready to perform and there are still things to celebrate as next year is our 50th Anniversary! We hope to have some news soon, as we plan how to mark this very special year with, hopefully, an anniversary production of Gilbert and Sullivan's masterpiece, The Yeomen of the Guard, in October.

We've missed seeing you all and thank you for your continued support. You can keep up with our news and see some nostalgic photos of past productions on our Facebook page. In the meantime we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a much better, music filled 2021!

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

N-OVAtion award for Manda Fraser and our Iolanthe costumes

Wonderful news - our very talented wardrobe mistress (and performer!), Manda Fraser, has won this year's N-OVAtion award for 'Most Exciting & Colourful Costumes' for her work in Iolanthe. All the fairy costumes were designed and made by Manda, and all of you who saw the show were blown away by how beautiful they looked. We are thrilled that all that hard work and inspiration has been recognised. Aren't they stunning? Thank you Manda!

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Important Show Announcement

It is with great sadness that PBGS has had to make the decision to cancel our re-scheduled performance of Trial by Jury/The Sorcerer on 7-10 October 2020. Due to the ongoing uncertainty around live theatrical performances, and to ensure the safety of our cast, crew and audiences, we feel that this is the best course of action for all involved. We would like to thank our audiences for their continued support and apologise for any disappointment.

We look forward to the future and hope to be able to bring you a special year of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the society in 2021.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Our Double Bill production of Trial by Jury and The Sorcerer will now take place on the 7th-10th October at the Queen Mother Theatre, Hichin. It was difficult for all of us to get so close to our first night before having to cancel, but we are looking forward to rehearsing it again once things start to return to normal, and polishing our show up nice and bright and shiny for you once more.

We look forward to performing for you again and thank you all for your patience and support. Watch this space for future booking details!

Monday, 16 March 2020

Trial and Sorcerer postponed until October 2020


It is with regret that we at PBGS have to announce that this week's production of Trial by Jury and The Sorcerer is postponed until October 2020 following government advice and the closure of West End Theatres.

We feel that this is the best course of action to ensure the health and safety of our audience and company. 

The QMT will contact ticket holders in the near future to discuss rebooking for October or refunds.

Thank you for your support in difficult times.


Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Socerer rehearsal photos

The Sorcerer can cast magical spells.
Some great Sorcerer rehearsal shots from our roving photographer and 'Reverend Vicar', Stephen Hoath. Our very funny production is directed by Richard Fraser, and the village of Ploverleigh, where the action takes place, may look strangely familiar to our audiences! The Sorcerer is showing in a Double Bill with Trial by Jury, and Director Graham Breeze has given us a modern day celebrity trial complete with a Press Corp and general mayhem!

Our G&S productions are always hugely popular and tickets are selling fast, so be sure to secure the nights you want by booking now using the button below.

Everyone loves a country dance.
Lady Sangazure is hopelessly in love with Sir Marmaduke


Monday, 3 February 2020

PBGS photoshoot

We had a lot of fun dressing up for our usual pre-show photoshoot. A passing cyclist nearly fell off his bike seeing a load of people in Victorian evening dress standing outside a cottage, but then you never know what goes on in villages, as our hilarious production of The Sorcerer illustrates. There is more than English Breakfast in that pot of tea! Then we donned our legal garb for our production of Trial by Jury. As you can see above, once you put those robes on things get pretty serious...

Many thanks to our 'Reverend Vicar' Stephen Hoath for stepping in to take the pictures at short notice and to our 'Counsel/Lady Sangazure' for letting us take over her lovely home!

Book early by clicking on the button below to ensure you get the seats you want, as all our G&S operettas are very popular!