Sunday, 28 August 2011

Proms in the Park extra

Click here or on the poster above for an even larger version

We now have a poster for the Proms in the Park event on 4th September. Not only will PBGS be singing a selection from our successful Sketch Show, but one of our members, soprano Laura Abella, will be presenting a solo programme as part of the Prom. Laura has a glorious voice - yet another reason to come and enjoy this event!


Friday, 26 August 2011

PBGS at Letchworth Proms in the Park

 Letchworth Hall Hotel

We are performing at the Proms in the Park on 4th September 2011 at Letchworth Hall Hotel, Letchworth lane, Letchworth Garden City, Herts. SG6 3NP.

Doors open at 12pm, with performances from 1pm and PBGS scheduled to perform extracts from the G&S Sketch Show from 3.30pm onwards, just before the main act.

Tickets are £25 per person including picnic or £12.50 per child including picnic.

Performers include classical guitarist, italian vocalist, solo violinst and classical piano. This looks as though it will be a fantastic afternoon out for everyone who loves classical music, with - of course - all the added humour you'd expect from Gilbert and Sullivan thrown into the mix.

You can find more information on the venue on the Letchworth Hall Hotel Website.

Iamge © Letchworth Hall Hotel

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Utopia Ltd Review

 Rutland Barrington as King Paramount
in the original production

Interesting to see Rupert Christiansen from The Telegraph reviewing the professional production of Utopia Ltd at Buxton:
'...the first fully staged professional production of G and S' penultimate collaboration Utopia Ltd in Britain since 1975, and apparently only the third such in over a century....'
'The choruses are as good if not better than any in the canon, and other highlights include a duet of almost Verdian beauty for tenor and soprano, a show-stopping patter septet, a deliciously camp number for the stomping Life Guards, and a wittily Betjemanesque hymn to English girls of five foot ten and eleven stone two.'
Almost (but not quite) makes me want to be in it again. You can read the full review here.

- SW

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Buxton Festival Results and a lecture on Gilbert at the NPG

The Festival Winners are now up on the Buxton International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival website, with South Anglia Savoy Players taking the crown this year with their production of Patience. For the full 2011 results click here.

And in other news,  The National Portrait Gallery has a free lecture coming up on W.S. Gilbert:
W.S. Gilbert: A Touch of Poetry
15 September 2011, 13:15-14:00
Ondaatje Wing Theatre
W.S. Gilbert, the librettist of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, was a man of contradictions, a hard-headed businessman who invented whimsical fantasy worlds. Andrew Crowther discusses the continuing appeal of his works.


Friday, 19 August 2011

Does Jack Point really die?

 Grossmith as the original Jack Point

The Buxton Festival has prompted an article about The Yeomen of the Guard on the BBC News Website. It's worth reading for its interesting take on Sullivan and Jack Point, and audience reactions to the operetta's ambiguous ending:

Gilbert and Sullivan's Mystery Play
Trevor Timpson, BBC News, 16 Aug 2011
'It is 100 years since WS Gilbert died, aged 74, 10 years after Arthur Sullivan. From the 1870s to the 1890s each of their comic operas in turn had captivated a huge public across the English-speaking world.

Ever since, they have been a sure way to fill venues from opera house to tin shed. This year's Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Buxton is the biggest ever, with some 50 productions. 
But who was the driving force in the partnership? Was it Gilbert, the writer of sparkling lyrics with a sting in the tail? Or Sullivan, the master orchestrator and creator of unforgettable tunes?

Part of the answer lies in their oddest opera, the one where they went "serious" - the Yeomen of the Guard of 1888....'
Read the full article over on the BBC News Website.

©BBC News

Monday, 8 August 2011

And yet more Buxton...

There is a nice little article about the joys of the Buxton Festival on the Guardian Website. My favourite quote:
"Buxton's great fun," said Bradley. "I even had an American woman come up to me and say: 'I have had more pleasure from the festival than from either of my husbands.'"
Well, we knew it was good but.....

Read the whole article on The Guardian Website.

And here yet more photos of PBGS at the Festival!

Ali, Eve and Margaret stay cool...

King Tony holds court

Before Edinburgh's 'Mikado'

Post Mikado Festival Club at the Pavilion
All photos ©Sue Wookey


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Buxton on the BBC

For those of you that missed it last night, the Buxton International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival was featured on the BBC News. You can watch the video, which really captures the spirit of the Festival, here on the BBC News Website.

Photo ©Sue Wookey

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

We're back from Buxton!

No missing us around Buxton! Alice's mum, Joan, thinks we look FAB ©Sue Wookey

Well, we did it! Most of us are back now from our Buxton adventure (although a few hardy Putt souls are still there enjoying the G&S Festival) and it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our endeavours, and share experiences and photos. If you have any anecdotes or pictures you would like to share here, send them on to me and I’ll post them for you. If you don’t it will be only my memories, and we can’t have that!

But, to start us off, I think we need to thank Paula for coming up with such a wonderful show and seeing it through to the Pavilion Arts Centre stage. The audience loved it (as we knew they would). I’ve now watched the DVD, created by All Media Works and available from Musical Collectables Ltd, (order your copies now, if you don’t have them!) and it’s the first time I’ve been able to appreciate how slick it really is, seamlessly carrying the audience through the operettas with an affectionate eye for the absurdities that make them funny. Next in the line-up of thanks is Margaret for keeping us all in line, getting the best out of us and playing her arms off, Tash for calmly making the whole thing work on an untried and untested stage (we love you, Tash!) and Mark and Calum, and all the techie helpers from the theatre for their considerable efforts with the new equipment. It was a real challenge and we are all very grateful. Special thanks go to Robin for his calm advice, guidance and support – it was lovely knowing you were out there willing us through it, Robin – to Richard for wrestling Elsie the Eagle into submission, to Sue for spending so much time making it, Paula’s mum, Ann, for making the world’s biggest wedding dress (eat your heart out, Zara) and to the Smiths for allowing us to present a madcap start to the Fringe Festival.

Finally – let’s thank ourselves because each and every person on that stage has earned it. Adapting to the backstage challenges while going on and performing to that level is a considerable achievement. Personally I think each and every member up there excelled themselves – watch the DVD and be astonished.

There will be more Buxton posts coming soon, but in the meantime here are a few more photos from me and from Teresa to enjoy:

© Teresa Newham

Everyone takes the whole thing really seriously on the Pavilion Stage....

©Sue Wookey

Paula checks out the Diva Wedding Dress.

 ©Sue Wookey

Every bride needs a bridesmaid...

 ©Sue Wookey

Graham and John checking a little list.

©Sue Wookey

Elsie the Eagle rests at Thorn Hays before the performance

©Sue Wookey

Elsie gets ready to fly...

©Sue Wookey

We have lift off!

©Sue Wookey

Waiting to go on by the cool of the stage door.

©Sue Wookey

The Buxton Opera House before Edinburgh's performance of The Mikado.

These are just a few of my (and Teresa's) photos. I'm sure everybody would love to see yours if you have them. And if anyone would like to write up a short piece about their wild weekend in Buxton (maybe Deano can write a poem : -), I'm sure everyone would love that too!

- Sue W.