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!

http://queenmothertheatre.savoysystems.co.uk/QueenMotherTheatre.dll/TSelectItems.waSelectItemsPrompt.TcsWebMenuItem_0.TcsWebTab_0.TcsProgramme_427096
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.

http://queenmothertheatre.savoysystems.co.uk/QueenMotherTheatre.dll/TSelectItems.waSelectItemsPrompt.TcsWebMenuItem_0.TcsWebTab_0.TcsProgramme_427096
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

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Benslow Music Trust Concert


It was really lovely to sing once again at Benslow Music Trust's Open Day and bring a mixed programme of G&S to a small but really appreciative audience! We performed selections from Iolanthe to give everyone a taste of our next show, then launched into excerpts from Ida, Patience, Gondoliers and Mikado. There were lots of smiling faces and we had great fun too. Any excuse to sing and lark about in G&S topsy-turvydom!

Thanks to Benslow for inviting us again and we look forward to next year!
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Sunday, 7 July 2019

PBGS at Ampthill Proms


PBGS was thrilled to take part in amazing Ampthill Proms, with Ampthill Concert Orchestra and Redborne Choir, lustily singing 'O Fortuna' from Orff's Carmina Burana while the sky exploded with fireworks behind us (we are sure they looked wonderful). We also sang Verdi's 'Anvil Chorus' (very loudly) and waved our flags through 'Land of Hope and Glory', 'Jerusalem' and 'Rule Britannia'. Incredible to be on such a vast stage in front of several thousand people and to sing with a 'full band', as the Duke of Plaza Toro would say. Oh, and did we mention, Collabro were there too as our warm up act! Well - we were on after them...

What an amazing thing to be part of. We'd love to do it all over again!



Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Iolanthe Box Office Open!


The Box Office is now open for Gilbert and Sullivan's sparkling battle of the Fairies and Peers, 'Iolanthe'.
'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!'
Buy your tickets now from the Queen Mother Theatre Box Office - they've already started to sell!

http://queenmothertheatre.savoysystems.co.uk/QueenMotherTheatre.dll/TSelectItems.waSelectItemsPrompt.TcsWebMenuItem_0.TcsWebTab_0.TcsProgramme_427096
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

Monday, 24 June 2019

PBGS at Ampthill Proms!


While the sky is lit up with fireworks at Ampthill Proms on 6 July, we will be lustily singing 'O Fortuna' from Orff's Carmina Burana. We are so excited to be taking part in this with Ampthill Concert Orchestra and Redborne Choir. Yesterday's rehearsal with them was amazing. And loud. As well as the Orff we will be hammering those anvils in Verdi's 'Anvil Chorus' and asking the audience to join us for 'Land of Hope and Glory' and 'Jerusalem' Definitely not one to miss! Oh, and did we mention, Collabro are there too!

Get your tickets here for an amazing music filled evening!

Friday, 19 April 2019

Praise for our Grand Duke!


A lovely review of The Grand Duke from two of our Patrons:
What a wonderful show Grand Duke has been. We were fortunate to see it twice on Thursday and Saturday and greatly enjoyed both times.

This is one of the best productions of GD that we have seen ( and we have seen a few!). Careful editing of the text and tasteful updating plus superb direction gave us a lively, vibrant and colourful production. The set was simple but so effective and lighting well controlled and shaped the emotions of the scenes.

Choreography was fantastic and made full use of the stage. It was lovely to see all the chorus working so hard throughout, but also clearly showing that they were enjoying what they were doing. Strong performances from the Principals gave the finishing touches. All in all a show of which everyone can be proud. Please pass our congratulations and thanks to all.

We look forward to Iolanthe in October.
Thanks to Mr and Mrs Parfitt for sharing how much they enjoyed the show with us, Grand Duke is a difficult show to pull-off successfully and encouraging words like these make all the hard work worthwhile! And, yes, we were all having a great time on stage!


Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Iolanthe Auditions


It's that time of year again! Auditions for Iolanthe will take place on Sunday 28th April at 3pm. You will find all the information you need in these downloadable PDFs:

Audition Information
Libretto Sections
Audition Slip 

Every auditionee needs to have paid their membership or a £20 Audition Fee before the auditions take place and completed forms need to be handed in to Paula Fraser by the 23th April.

Auditions are open and friendly with plenty of people to cheer you on. Good luck everyone!

Monday, 25 March 2019

Iolanthe Launch!



Thank you to our audiences for making The Grand Duke such a huge success! It has truly been a wonderful week with so many people supporting us and thoroughly this enjoying seldom performed G&S.

We are already getting ready for our next show which will be G&S's Fairies v Peers classic, Iolanthe. Our launch night will be Tuesday 2 April at 7.45pm at Streatley Village Hall LU3 3PS. Meet our MD, Jane Stott. and have a sing through the music! Audition pieces will be available - the auditions will be held on Sunday 28th April at 3pm, with the venue to be confirmed soon. And on Tuesday 9th April our Director, Alison Gibbs will be with us to talk about the production and give us character notes.

If you are new to the society and would like to join us you will find everything you need on our Contact Us page. We are a very friendly group, so feel free to just turn up on the night and introduce yourself - you will be made very welcome. We also welcome non-performing members - there is always plenty to do behind the scenes!

We look forward to seeing you all!
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Monday, 18 March 2019

It's show week!


It's finally show week and we are so looking forward to presenting our production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Grand Duke to you when we open on Wednesday! Grand Duke is rarely performed but still contains the sharp wit and sparkling music that the duo are famous for, including a wonderful roulette song - cut by Gilbert and Sullivan from the original production but now regarded as one of the best numbers in the show! During the course of the production a theatrical troupe take over a Grand Duchy in one of G&S's maddest plots ever, with the theatrical plotters using sausage rolls as a secret sign, comedy actor Ludwig managing to acquire four wives in one day, a drunken Baroness and a nod at 'Troilus and Cressida' thrown in.

Our Director, Graham Breeze (who gave us last year's sparkling Gondoliers), has created an up-to-date production that has had us in stitches in rehearsals. Tickets are almost sold out so book now by clicking on this button to go straight through to the Queen Mother Theatre Box Office:

http://queenmothertheatre.savoysystems.co.uk/QueenMotherTheatre.dll/TSelectItems.waSelectItemsPrompt.TcsWebMenuItem_0.TcsWebTab_0.TcsProgramme_427096

Robert Kendrick as Rudolph and Sue Wookey as the Baroness

Paula Fraser as Julia and Stephen Hoath as Ludwig
The company rehearsing




Sunday, 3 February 2019

Grand Duke


Rehearsals for The Grand Duke are well into Act 2 and we are looking forward to presenting one of Gilbert and Sullivan's little performed gems. Some sparkling music, including a sausage roll song, a roulette number and a gallop, and the usual madcap plot:
In the nation of Pfennig-Halbpfennig, the citizens are well and truly fed up with their ruler, the Grand Duke. A local theatrical company led by Ernest Dummkopf is involved in secret plans for a coup, but all are thrown into disarray when leading actor Ludwig inadvertently spills the beans to the Grand Duke’s detective. Chaos ensues when people try to save the day through a series of non-violent statutory duels with playing cards, where the loser legally ‘dies’ – starting a chain of 4 weddings and at least 2 ‘funerals’, together with political scheming. Into all this confusion come the Prince and Princess of Monte-Carlo with their newly-invented game of roulette… Will it be a happy ending? All bets are off!
The production has been updated by our Director, Graham Breeze, and we are all enjoying being a theatrical troupe playing a Theatrical Troupe! Buy your tickets online direct from the Queen Mother Theatre here:

http://queenmothertheatre.savoysystems.co.uk/QueenMotherTheatre.dll/TSelectItems.waSelectItemsPrompt.TcsWebMenuItem_0.TcsWebTab_0.TcsProgramme_427096



Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Shayn Dickens as Henrik
From Nova Horley's Luton News Review of 2018 local productions:
"Best Performance in a Musical is Paul Ramsey as King Arthur in DMTC’s production of Spamalot, an excellent performance on all levels.  Runners Up are Aimee McCulloch for her interpretation of Joanne in Rent for Griffin Players, Shayn Dickens for his angst-ridden Henrik in Putteridge Bury Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s production of A Little Night Music, and from the same production,  Paula Fraser as Desiree and Rachel Thomas as Madame Leonora [Armfeld], both giving well-crafted characterisations."
Wonderful to see three performances from our production of A Little Night Music featured in the Review!

 Paula Fraser as Desiree and Rachel Thomas as Madame Armfeld