Saturday 18 December 2021

Look what we’ve got! Jingle those bells, our CD recording of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorcerer has arrived! They will be on sale in 2022, so watch this space in the New Year for full details on how to order your copy. We are also working on our recording of Trial by Jury which will be released not long after Sorcerer, so there will be two fantastic productions to look forward to. These are the shows which we should have performed as a double bill in March 2020 when the first Covid lockdown struck. Alas, we never made it past our tech rehearsal so it's good to have all those fantastic performances on record even if they never made the stage!
2021 has been a another difficult year for performers but together we managed to create something wonderful. It has been an amazing experience making a professional recording so many, many thanks to everyone who made this possible. What a way to celebrate our 50th Anniversary!


Friday 26 November 2021

Announcing our next production!

We are busy rehearsing for our next production which will be at Pirton Village Hall in March. Our Gala will showcase the best of our 50 years of Shows with staged excerpts from all the Gilbert and Sullivan favourites, musicals and operetta from The Merry Widow to Jack the Ripper, and a smattering of Stephen Sondheim. Music, dancing, sketches and much more! We hope you will all join us for what will be a wonderful evening.

Booking will be opening soon so watch this space!


Tuesday 24 August 2021

PBGS 50 Years Singing #12: Trial by Jury at Harrogate 2015

Continuing our look back at 50 years of PBGS, in 2015, in a unique collaboration, we performed once again at The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival (now in a new home at Harrogate) alongside fellow G&S Society, Wolverton. PBGS performed our acclaimed Fairytale production of Trial by Jury in the Festival Fringe in Harrogate Theatre, in a double bill with Wolverton G&S's The Zoo. A few members from each Society crossed over into each other’s shows to add to the fun and dressing room mayhem! 

It quickly became evident the main advantage of moving from Buxton to Harrogate for the Festival was Betty’s Teashop. Fortified by cake the Society triumphed and the appreciative audience carried on applauding long after the curtain came down, much to our delight.

Tuesday 10 August 2021

PBGS 50 Years Singing #11: PBGS stages our first Stephen Sondheim

Our 2014 production of Into the Woods
 Continuing our look at the history of PBGS, in 2014 we expanded our musical horizons to tackle the challenges of Stephen Sondheim by putting on a production of 'Into the Woods', a twist on old fairytales which weaves several fairy-tale characters into a story of magic beans and the danger of wishes. 
'Into the Woods' is a very difficult show, both musically and production wise, but it also has lots of really wonderful parts which gave us a chance to showcase the huge range of talent we have in the Society. 
Since then we have tackled two more Sondheim’s: 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum' (2017) and 'A Little Night Music' (2018), gathering several NOVAtion Awards and Nominations along the way.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 2017
A Little Night Music 2018

Sunday 1 August 2021

Back together singing at last!

Everyone at the Big Sing

Finally, the moment we’ve been waiting for for so long, PBGS back together singing again!

This is The PBGS Big Sing, recording the chorus numbers for our 50th Anniversary CD of ‘Trial by Jury’ and ‘The Sorcerer’ at Area 88 in Milton Keynes. Over the last 15 months we have all stayed in touch through Zoom with show readings, quizzes and bingo nights, but this is the real thing - all of us raising our voices together doing what we love. Many thanks to our MD, Graham Thomson, for keeping us together and making the day such fun, to Cynthia at the piano with her page-turner-extraordinaire other half, and to the wonderful Mike Crofts on sound. And also to Teresa and Jon Newham for photos and looking after us all. This was ‘too much happiness’. We really raised that roof! 

Watch this space for details of the CD when we have finished recording and production.

Tuesday 27 July 2021

PBGS 50 Years Singing #10: Singing for the BBC


Waiting outside the Harold Pinter Theatre

Continuing our history of PBGS as part of our 50th celebrations, on 25th June 2012 we were asked by the BBC's "The One Show" (with one weeks' notice!) if we would perform the opening chorus from Iolanthe for them. This performance was to be recorded as part of the story of how Fairy lights gained their name. Iolanthe premiered at the Savoy and was the first ever show to be lit by electric light. New lighting technologies made such special effects as sparkling fairy wands possible for the first time. The principal fairies' heads were lit by wreaths of small illuminated stars attached to a battery.

Luckily we had a set of fairy costumes (as you do!) so we quickly choreographed the number, organised two hasty rehearsals and gathered as much fairy dust as possible! A small group us and two members of Wolverton G&S Society headed to the Harold Pinter Theatre in London's West End. After about ten takes with some close ups and wider shots, the filming was over 45 minutes earlier than scheduled, much to the production team’s delight.

Although the sequence ended up on the cutting room floor due to time constraints on the day, we loved being involved in this and we can say we have performed on a West End Stage!


Monday 5 July 2021

PBGS 50 Years Singing #8: The G&S Sketch Show in Buxton

Continuing our history of PBGS, in 2011 we returned for a third time to Buxton and the International G&S Festival with our Gilbert and Sullivan Sketch Show, which we performed at the newly refurbished Pavillion Theatre as part of the Festival Fringe. Written and produced by current Chairwoman, Paula Fraser, it took the audience on a whirlwind tour through all the Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire, linking highlights and themes together and marking each one with a succession of hats and props. It was huge fun for us and the audience, with some crazy moments backstage as we constantly changed characters, but it showcased the huge range of talent in the Society by giving everyone something to perform.


Tuesday 22 June 2021

PBGS 50 Years Singing #7: We move to the QMT Hitchin

Iolanthe 2009

Continuing our story of PBGS over the last 50 years, 2009 PBGS moved to its current venue - the Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin - following a couple of performances at Henlow Theatre. Rising costs, and the challenges of filling a theatre as big as Campus West in Welwyn Garden City with a smaller membership, made the QMT a much more viable home for the Society. The move also brought us new audiences, especially for Gilbert and Sullivan! Our first production was Iolanthe where we got the chance to spread some fairy dust on our new home.