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.
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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



IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE

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.

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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

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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!


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Monday, 20 January 2020

Rehearsal Photos!


Rehearsals are coming along well for our Trial/Sorcerer Double Bill. It's always hard rehearsing two separate shows (or in the case of the last time we mixed shorter shows up... three!!!). One month you are in the village of Ploverleigh being dosed with a magic potion, the next you are in a court room trying to decide who is the guilty party in a breach of Promise of Marriage. In both cases you are caught up in typical G&S romantic mayhem. And taking of mayhem, that's our Jury above, not behaving as soberly as you would hope in a Court of Law.

Expect several digs at journalistic bias in our modern day Trial by Jury, as a celebrity case comes to court, and some very unexpected surprises in The Sorcerer - Ploverleigh might seem strangely familiar...

Great G&S music and comedy and the usual outstanding performances that you expect from PBGS. Be sure to book your tickets early by clicking on the link below!


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Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Box Office is Open!


The Box Office is now open for tickets for our March Gilbert and Sullivan Double Bill, Trial by Jury and The Sorcerer.
Trial by Jury depicts the hilarious court case of a jilted bride and an undoubted cad brought before a learned but unpredictable judge. Will the Defendant have a fair trial? Will the jury be unbiased? Will the Plaintiff find true love or settle for the most unlikely of suitors?
On the same theme of mis-matched love, in The Sorcerer Alexis and Aline, an engaged couple, have instructed J.W. Wells, a 'dealer in magic and spells' to create a magic potion which will make the entire village fall in love.  They hope that everyone will be as happy as they are, but disaster strikes when the village wakes up and falls in love with the first person they see, mixing old and young and posh and poor. Chaos reigns.
Only the sorcerer can break the spell...
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!

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Saturday, 21 December 2019

PBGS shows praised in the Luton News Review of the Year


Well this is a nice Christmas Present! Both of PBGS's 2019 shows feature in Nova Horley's review of the year's highlights for the Luton News:

"Musical of the Year must go to Dunstable Musical Theatre Company for their production of “Cats”.... My runners up are “Swing, Swing, Swing” from St Andrew’s Players, a musical memory of the Andrews Sisters written by Richard Cowling, and “Iolanthe” from Putteridge Bury G&S Society, colourful and well-crafted productions both musically and visually."

"Best Ensemble in a Play or Musical goes to St Andrew’s Players for “Swing, Swing, Swing”... followed by “Cats” from DMTC and “The Grand Duke” from PBGS. Very diverse productions, but ones that I felt created a real feel of what was intended by the writers."


"Best Musical Director must be Graham Thomson in the little known G&S “The Grand Duke” from PBGS, very good musically, first class dynamics and ensemble participation."


Well done everyone! What a lovely tribute to a year of hard work and dedication and a large dose of fun. You can read Nova's full review here.


Sunday, 8 December 2019

Remembering Mick Trundle

Mick in our 2003 production of Pirates of Penzance
PBGS is sad to hear of the passing of Honorary Life Member Mick Trundle. Mick performed with the Society throughout the late Eighties, Nineties and Noughties until retiring from performing. While ostensibly a dairy farmer from Meppershall, we all knew that Mick was really the Sergeant of Police, not only playing the role twice with PBGS in 1993 and 2003, but also performing his party piece, 'A Policeman's Lot' at numerous concerts. In Mick's case, his lot was indeed a happy one as he loved singing and acting, not only with us but in the Meppershall Panto. He also loved to make people laugh, had a joke for just about every occasion and could spin a yarn as long as your arm.

A big man with a big heart who will be sadly missed by all of us who remember him. Our thoughts are with his wife, Penny, also an Honorary Life Member.

For those of you who want to come to his funeral, there will be a Celebration of Life Service at Meppershall Parish Church at 11.30am on Thursday 19th December. I'm sure there will be plenty of singing!

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Trial and Sorcerer Cast


We have a cast (mostly!) for Trial by Jury and The Sorcerer. Congratulations to everyone on a wonderful set of auditions. As you can see, there is some double casting giving a few of us a chance to really flex those acting muscles!

Trial by Jury
Judge - Jo Bigg
Counsel - Melanie Roberts
Plaintiff - Claire Moore
Defendant - To be confirmed
Usher - Sue Wookey
Foreman of the Jury - Jon Newham
Bridesmaids - To be confirmed

The Sorcerer
Constance - Claire Moore
Aline - Bryony Reynolds
Lady Sangazure - Melanie Roberts
Mrs Partlett - Sue Wookey
Sir Marmaduke - David Crew
Notary/Lawyer - Robert Johns
Alexis - Tim Sell
John Wellington Wells - To be confirmed
Dr Daly - Stephen Hoath  


Sunday, 3 November 2019

Trial and Sorcerer Auditions


Rehearsals have just started for our next show - a Trial by Jury and The Sorcerer double bill. Our MD is Stuart Elliott and our two directors are Graham Breeze (Trial) and Richard Fraser (Sorcerer).

Please contact paulafras@aol.com if you would like to audition (we need to know this no later than Tuesday 5th). If you intend to audition you will need to pay a membership fee beforehand if you are not already paid up.

Auditions are open and friendly - you will find everyone very supportive - and will be at 3pm on 10th November at Streatley Village Hall. See our Contact Us page for directions. Click on the links below for all the audition materials you need - character profiles, voice, libretto audition pieces and music audition pieces:

Trial Audition Information
Sorcerer Audition Information

Please also contact us if you need more information or would like join us for this production in the chorus. We also always need help behind the scenes or backstage. There are many different ways to take part! 

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Sunday, 20 October 2019

Iolanthe Review


A lovely review of Iolanthe from our NODA Rep, Nova Horley:
"I think of all the G&S shows, this is the most charming, and this production lived up to expectations."
"The costumes were beautiful, very colourful, I don’t think I’ve seen such bright fairies before, really lovely, and the Peers robes were also colourful, pristine and very regal.  I loved the Lord Chancellor’s wig, his black and gold robe was stunning.  The Fairy Queen looked regal, but again so colourful, the best costume I have seen for this part."
"All in all a very good production, good performances, lots of different takes on the characters, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening."
Read the full review here.


Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Show Launch!


One show is done and dusted but there is always another! Our Trial by Jury & The Sorcerer Double Bill launch night is on Tue 22nd Oct at 7.45, Streatley Village Hall (location details here). Our two Directors, Graham Breeze (Trial) and Richard Fraser (Sorcerer) will give us their vision for the shows and Musical Director, Stuart Elliott, will give us a taste of the music.

Graham has produced many shows for us, including this year's updated and highly successful Grand Duke and our 2018 Gondoliers, which took the Harrogate Festival Fringe by storm. Richard gave us our wonderful (and very memorable!) Essex Girls Pirates. We can't wait to see what they both come up with for this one! Stuart conducted our 2015 concert, Best of All Musical Worlds, and we are thrilled that he will now be doing a whole show with us.

Audition pieces will also be available at the launch (more details soon).

New members are always made very welcome - if you would like to sing with us, just come along and introduce yourself! If you are unsure about performing onstage but would still like to be involved, there are plenty of other roles backstage and in the run-up to the production. We can't function without our team of offstage helpers! You will find directions and contact info here.

Here is a little bit about both shows to whet your appetite:
Can you sue someone for breaking off an engagement? In Gilbert and Sullivan’s courtroom farce Trial by Jury, it’s a very serious crime! The fickle and bigoted defendant, Edwin, has fallen in love with another woman and has jilted the plaintiff, the beautiful Angelina. Unfortunately for Edwin, all of the members of the jury (and the judge) have fallen for Angelina themselves. Edwin proposes that in order to solve the conflict, he “marry this lady today and the other tomorrow,” which, naturally, Angelina objects to. Ultimately, the resolution that pleases everyone is for the judge to marry Angelina himself! - stageagent.com

The Sorcerer’s plot involves an engaged couple who want everyone to be as happy as they, and so the groom-to-be brings in a “family sorcerer” to administer a love potion to the entire village. As you might expect, the love potion works, but everyone falls in love with the wrong partner. All is made right in the end, however, as the sorcerer breaks the spell by the expedient of giving himself up to the powers of evil –– in an appropriate puff of smoke.  - gsopera.com
PBGS in rehearsal

Sunday, 13 October 2019

A Big Thank You!


And so another show is over. We are going to miss Fairyland! A big thank you to our audiences who have clearly had a great time - your laughter, applause and cheers have helped make this such an enjoyable week. Iolanthe has never been so topical! And an equally big thank you to our Director Alison Gibbs, Musical Director Jane Stott and our Costume Designer, Manda Fraser, for giving us such a fantastic production. There are too many other important behind the scenes helpers to mention here, we couldn't put the show on without you and we love you all!

Our next show is a G&S double bill - Trial by Jury and The Sorcerer. More details are coming soon!


Our next show

 

Tuesday, 1 October 2019


It's now only a week until our sparkling production of Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Iolanthe' opens. Mayhem in the Houses of Parliament sounds pretty topical, doesn't it? One of Gilbert's best comic plots, full of Sullivan's best music, this is one of their most popular operettas. And Act 1 has their famous 'Entry of the Peers', a rousing chorus for the men that always brings the house down (we ladies wish we were onstage singing it too!). And don't forget, for an extra special evening for the fairy-mad in your family, you can also Adopt a Fairy.
'The highly popular Iolanthe was once banished from fairyland for marrying a mortal. Now, after 25 years as a waterlogged single mother, she and her son Strephon are reunited with their fellow fairies... only for Strephon's plans with beautiful shepherdess Phyllis to be thrown into disarray by a misunderstanding and some envious English lords. Add in insults to the Fairy Queen, and the result is a fairy/peer war.

Which side will prevail? Will true love beat social status? Can Iolanthe avoid further condemnation? And just what does happen when a fairy ends up in parliament? Join us to find out!'
If you haven't got your tickets yet, buy them now from the Queen Mother Theatre Box Office - you won't want to miss this production!

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You can order your tickets by clicking on the button above for full online booking via the Queen Mother Theatre Box Office. For booking queries tel: 01462 455166.

The Queen Mother Theatre
Walsworth Road
Hitchin
SG4 9SP

Sunday, 15 September 2019

We have N-OVAtion Award Winners!

Paula Fraser
Congratulations to Paula Fraser our PBGS Chair and all-round Wonder Woman) for winning the Eastern Region N-OVAtion Award today for Best Actor (Female) in a Musical for her performance as Desiree in A Little Night Music and to Graham Thomson for winning Best Musical Director for our lively production of The Grand Duke! We had two more nominees in the same Best Actress category, Sue Wookey for Baroness Von Krakenfelt in The Grand Duke and Rachel Thomas for Madam Armfeldt in A Little Night Music, both of whom received Runner Up certificates. This is an amazing tribute to the outstanding quality of performance that PBGS aspires to, so many thanks to Nova Horley of novation.co.uk for recognising all our hard work.

Grand Duke MD Graham Thomson

 Sue Wookey with her and Rachel Thomas's Runner Up certificates


Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Adopt a Fairy!



Do you have someone fairy-mad in your family? Do you want to treat them to an enchanting experience and support your local amateur dramatic group into the bargain?

Well, loudly let the trumpets bray… because we are offering a handful of magical opportunities for our audience members to adopt one of our Iolanthe fairies!

For just £10, your fairy fan will get:

  • A personalised certificate of adoption
  • A letter from their adopted fairy
  • A free copy of our Iolanthe programme
  • A dress rehearsal photo of their adopted fairy
  • A meeting with their adopted fairy and the fairy queen in our on-stage fairyland during the interval of whichever performance they attend
To take advantage of this offer, simply email Vikki Rehm at vrehm@gmx.com with the name of your chosen fairy (see their names below) and choice of performance. We will then send you payment details and confirm the sponsor information for the adoption pack, which will be delivered on the night (or afternoon) by our front of house stewards.

Fairies up for adoption:


Rosie Cobweb Elderberry

Celia Nutmeg Flutter-Wings

Crystal Oakapple Pincushion

Scarlett Bracken Will-O’-Wisp

Hortensia Dahlia Nimbus

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

If you go down to the woods today...



Hope you like the results of our Iolanthe photoshoot! Several members visited the woodland near the Queen Mother Theatre last week and had some magical fairy fun. Many thanks to member (and Peer) Al Saunders for producing such fantastic shots for us.


The show will look fantastic with original fairy costumes put together by our talented Wardrobe Mistress, Manda Fraser, all in autumnal colours and decked with leaves and flowers. We fairies can't wait to wear them. And wait until you see the wings! And the men will be wearing the best set of Peers costumes available - now owned by PBGS and available for hire - so the Entry of the Peers will be spectacular.


Iolanthe runs from the 9th-12th October with a matinee performance on the Saturday and tickets are already selling, so don't delay too long in booking your preferred seats. Our G&S performances are very popular and some nights will sell out.

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You can order your tickets by clicking on the button above for full online booking via the Queen Mother Theatre Box Office. For booking queries tel: 01462 455166.

The Queen Mother Theatre
Walsworth Road
Hitchin
SG4 9SP

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Three Best Female Actor in a Musical N-OVAtion nominations for PBGS


Well - we know PBGS is filled with outstanding female talent and this confirms it! Congratulations to Paula Fraser, Sue Wookey and Rachel Thomas, all of whom have been nominated for a N-OVAtion Award for 'Best Female Actor in a Musical'. Paula and Rachel for their roles as Desiree and Madam Armfeldt in October 2018's A Little Night Music and Sue for Baroness von Krakenfelt in our last show, The Grand Duke. Congratultions also to member Louise Thonger who is up for joint 'Best Performed Song: Who Will Buy?' - in Harpenden Musical Theatre's 'Oliver'.

Three difficult and very different roles and while all three will be up against each other in the category, it's wonderful to have so much hard work recognised and we reckon it's a win all round!

And to add to the PBGS roll call, Graham Thompson is nominated for Best MD for The Grand Duke. Well done Graham!

Paula Fraser as Desiree in A Little Night Music
Rachel Thomas as Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music
Sue Wookey as Baroness von Krakenfelt in The Grand Duke
Graham Thompson rehearsing Grand Duke