PBGS 50th Anniversary merchandise!

Look what's under the Christmas Tree! Out 50th Anniversay celebration merchandise has arrived. We have logos on hoodies, polos, water bottles, thermal mugs, pencils, bags... you get the picture. And all with our celebration gold logo on it. If you are interested contact us for more information. Pictures of items coming soon!

August 2020: Manda Fraser wins costume N-OVAtion Award!

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!

July 2019: Two PBGS N-OVAtion Awards!

Paula Fraser
Congratulations to Paula Fraser for winning this year's N-OVAtion Award for Best Female Actor in a Musical for her performance as Desiree in 'A Little Night Music' and to Graham Thomson for winning the Best MD Award for 'The Grand Duke'. Rachel Thomas ('Night Music') and Sue Wookey ('Grand Duke') were also nominated for a N-OVAtion Award in the 'Best Female Actor in a Musical' category. A great year for PBGS!

Grand Duke MD Graham Thomson

Sept 2019: Congratulations to Richard Syms

Many congratulations to Director Richard Syms who gave us our wonderful 'A Little Night Music' last year, led us bravely through the tangled forests of  'Into the Woods' and directed our stunning 'Merry Widow'. Richard is celebrating 50 years as a priest and 40 years in professional theatre. It's always a joy working with you, Richard.

Sept 2019: Why singing is good for you

Take a listen to this wonderful interview on Three Counties Radio with our Chairwoman Paula Fraser and member Al Saunders on why singing and being a member of a group like PBGS is good for your mental health and welbeing. The interview starts at 0.44.40. Well done, both of you, on speaking so eloquently about such an important subject.

Three Counties Radio: Reflecting on World Suicide prevention day

July 2019: Four N-OVAtion Award Nominations!

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.

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

July 2019: PBGS at Benslow Music's Open Day

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!

July 2019: PBGS at Ampthill Proms

PBGS was thrilled to take part in this amazing event with Ampthill Concert Orchestra and Redborne Choir. While the sky lit up with fireworks at Ampthill Proms, we were lustily singing 'O Fortuna' from Orff's Carmina Burana. We also sang Verdi's 'Anvil Chorus' (very loudly) and waved our flags through 'Land of Hope and Glory', 'Jerusalem' and 'Rule Britannia'. Oh, and did we mention, Collabro were there too! What an amazing thing to be part of. We'd love to do it all over again!

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!

Dec 2018: Life Membership for Teresa Newham

Teresa in The Merry Widow
Many congratulations to our new Life Member, Teresa Newham, who joined us in 1989 and has been a staunch member ever since. Teresa has done so much for PBGS over the years in various capacities both onstage and off. She served on our Committee for 8 years as Publicity Officer and Secretary, and produced all of PBGS's publicity materials for many years afterwards. Teresa has played several lead roles including Cousin Hebe in HMS Pinafore, the Huntress Goddess Diana twice in Orpheus in the Underworld, Constance in The Sorcerer and she opened PBGS’s first ever performance of The Gondoliers at the International G&S Festival in Buxton with a beautifully sung Fiametta. We are all thrilled to be able to thank her for all her hard work with this Life Membership.

Nov 2018: PBGS performs with Amptill Concert Orchestra


We were really thrilled to perform in this fabulous Gala Concert with Ampthill Concert Orchestra on the 25th November. It was lovely sing with such a large orchestra and to take the stage with so many talented young people. There was a lineup of Stellar soloists, including Bonaventura Bottone who created Koko for Jonathan Millar's now famous Black and White Mikado with the ENO. Nice to hear our men's chorus joining him in A Wandering Minstrel I and giving a stirring performance!

Sept 2018: PBGS sing for EHAA in Stevenage

Jon Newham explains a policeman's lot...
PBGS were rocking it in Stevenage Town Centre on the 8th Sept, raising money for the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance. We performed a selection of favourites from our current show A Little Night Music and from our rather vast Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire! You can support our local Air Ambulance service here at

August 2018: PBGS at the 25th International G&S Festival in Harrogate

PBGS was thrilled to open the Festival Fringe for the 25th Silver Jubilee International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Harrogate with our production of The Gondoliers on Thursday 9th August 2018 at Harrogate Theatre. The Festival is a wonderful event to take part in which stretches every company and PBGS rose to the challenge in style, as you can see from the screen grabs of our performance! Thanks to everyone who made this possible and to the International G&S Festival for hosting such a celebration of all things Gilbert and Sullivan. It really was 'too much happiness'.

July 2018: PBGS Noda East District 3 Awards Nominations

PBGS are delighted to announce two Noda East District 3 Awards Nominations, both for Best Duo/Trio in a Musical: Sue Wookey and Peter Sayers for Domina and Senex in our Autumn 2017 production of 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum', and Nigel Harvey, Bryony Reynolds and Elizabeth Bottone for the Duke and Duchess of Plaza Toro and their daughter Casilda in our Spring 2018 production of 'The Gondoliers'. 

It's wonderful to see performances from both these shows recognised after all the hard work put in by everybody. Congratulations to all those nominated and keep those fingers crossed for awards night in September!

July 2018: PBGS sing at Benslow Music's Open Day

PBGS was thrilled to perform once again at the Benslow Music Trust's Open Day. Seven PBGS members along with MD Sue Trost sang selections from A Little Night Music and The Gondoliers, with a little detour into Pirates half way through to get the audience to sing along with 'A Policeman's Lot'. Benslow Music offers residential and day music courses, and chamber concerts at its beautiful purpose-built campus in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

Sept 2017: Noda Win!

Congratulations to Emma Crew, Katharine Crew and Bryony Growdon for winning the Noda East District 3 award for 'Most Interesting Grouping' for their wonderful Essex performances as Kate, Isobel and Edith in our recent production of 'The Pirates of Penzance'. Just totes amazeballs!

July 2017: PBGS has four NODA Nominations

PBGS is delighted to announce that members have been nominated in the Noda East – District 3 awards in four categories for our recent production of The Pirates of Penzance and also for a performance in The Merry Widow: Best Director - Richard Fraser (Pirates), Best Musical Director - Graham Thompson (Pirates), Best Male in a Musical - David Crew as the Major General (Pirates) and as Baron Zeta (Widow), and finally Most Interesting Grouping - Bryony Growden, Emma Crew and Katharine Crew as Edith, Kate and Isabel (Pirates). Many thanks to our rep, Nova Horley, and congratulations on the nominations to Richard, Graham, David, Bryony, Emma and Katharine, you did us proud!

July 2017: PBGS at Benslow Music's Open Day

PBGS members had a very enjoyable day entertaining visitors at Benslow Music Trust's Open Day in Hitchin, with two half hour slots. Excerpts from Pirates of Penzance, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and The Gondoliers, and a chance to promote our wonderful society to a really appreciative audience who were plainly having a great time. They even got the chance to sing and do the movements to 'A Policemans Lot'! Thanks to Sue Trost for keeping us in line from behind the keyboard, Paula Fraser, Richard Fraser, Vikki Rehm, Graham Breeze, Bryony Reynolds, Jo Bigg, Richard Dean and Sue Wookey.

December 2016: New Honorary Life Members

Three long serving and valuable PBGSers have been made Honorary Life Members. We don't know where we'd be without Clive Wheeler, Paula Fraser and Richard Fraser, so many congratulations from all of us. You deserve it so much after years of working hard for us all.

Clive Wheeler as the Mikado
Paula Fraser as Josephine in HMS Pinafore
Richard Fraser in Jack the Ripper

Aug 2016: PBGS has two NODA Nominations

Yet more Noda East District 3 Nominations! We are thrilled that our spring PBGS production of Princess Ida garnered two in a new category - Best Adult Grouping in a Musical:

Ian Boughton, Barny, Shergold and Peter Johnson as the Soldier Trio and Gordon Hodges, Stephen Hoath and Joe Emler as Hilarion, Florian and Cyril. 

Although we didn't win it's good that so much talent and hard work was recognised.

Ian Boughton, Barny, Shergold and Peter Johnson as the Soldier Trio
Stephen Hoath and Joe Emler as Hilarion, Florian and Cyril

 Barny Shergold receiving a runner up certificate with Ian Boughton (right)

4th January 2016: New Year Plaudits for PBGS!

Graham Breeze and Paula Fraser in HMS Pinafore
From our regional NODA rep Nova Horley's review of the local theatrical year for The Luton News. It's lovely to see PBGS mentioned twice!
'Best Couple in a Musical must go to Graham Breeze as Captain Corcoran and Paula Fraser as Josephine in HMS Pinafore for PBGS. They complemented each other so well, both in singing and acting the parts.'
'My MD of the Year goes to Charlotte Tabert for Wizard of Oz (Griffins), and Beth Thomas for Hairspray (DAOS). They both achieved amazing things with their bands and the musical numbers in both shows. Graham Thomson brought his experience to bear for the PBGS production of HMS Pinafore, which makes him a worthy runner up.'
Wonderful to see sterling work recognised after the huge effort that everyone puts into our productions. Well done Paula, and the two Grahams!

You can read Nova’s entire review on her website

December 2015: PBGS sings at a wedding in 

Four PBGS members sang 'Brightly Dawns our Wedding Day' from The Mikado at the wedding of Eleanor Lavan and Eric Lybeck in Henley-on-Thames on 21 December. Eleanor is the Great Granddaughter of D'Oyly Carte singer Albert James, and Paula Fraser, Sue Wookey, Graham Breeze and Peter Johnson serenaded her as she walked up the aisle, with Margaret Johnson accompanying them on the piano.

Albert James joined D'Oyly Carte in 1880 and worked directly with Gilbert and Sullivan, appearing in principal roles on tour - including Ko Ko, General Stanley. the Lord Chancellor and Bunthorne among many others. In the later stage of his career he continued working for D'Oyly Carte as Stage Manager and then Publicity Manager up to his death in 1913. You can read more about his long G&S career at The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive. His Great Granddaughters work in the theatre themselves and have written a performance piece about his life, Wild Laughter. You can read about the work and more about Albert on their website, Sidelong Glance Productions.

It was a privilege to bring some G&S to the wedding celebrations and share in a long tradition of Gilbert and Sullivan performance. PBGS wish Eleanor and Eric a long, happy and music filled life together!

Albert James as Ko Ko

SEPT 2015: PBGS wins NODA Best Costume Award

PBGS is thrilled to announce that we have been awarded the District 3 East NODA Best Costume Award. Many thanks to Regional Rep Nova Horley for recognising our efforts. Nova praised the costumes for our 2014 production of Into the Woods and our 2015 production of HMS Pinafore, commenting especially on Pinafore's colourful, fresh and well fitting costumes and Little Red Riding Hood's lovely dress in Into the Woods.

PBGS has been nominated for this award in the past, and it is a tribute to the hard work that goes into making sure that our shows as good to look at as they are to listen to!

Into the Woods - Little Red and the Wolf
HMS Pinafore

22nd August 2015: PBGS and Wolverton at the International G&S Festival Fringe

Harrogate Theatre
Well done to all members of PBGS and Wolverton G&S for outstanding performances in Trial by Jury and The Zoo at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Harrogate. It was a huge team effort but well worth it to hear all that applause at the end just going on and on! Both productions have had wonderful feedback from a really appreciative and knowledgeable audience.

Many thanks are due to our wonderful Producers, Alison Gibbs (Trial) and Graham Breeze (Zoo), for two very original and sparkling productions that we were proud to present, our trusty MDs Margaret Johnson (Trial) and Mike Crofts (Zoo) for holding it all together in the Pit and getting the very best out of us, to Paula and Richard Fraser for the herculean effort of organising it all and getting us up there, and also thanks to Jo Bigg for organising wonderful accommodation.

Finally thanks to all the cast and crew of both societies for putting in so much effort and dedication. It was hard work, it was chaos in those dressing rooms, it was fast and frantic, but it was the most fun one can have on stage and an unforgettable achievement.

PBGS and Wolverton all mixed up backstage
Margaret and Mike in The Pit

Feb 2015: PBGS takes Trial by Jury to the International Festival of Gilbert and Sullivan

Our 2013 production of Trial by Jury
Our amazing Fairy tale Trial by Jury received acclaim from audiences and NODA regional nominations, so what better way to celebrate this than to present it at the biggest International Festival of them all - and this time, with friends! On the 22nd August 2015 at 2.30pm, this society with be performing our production of Trial by Jury at Harrogate Theatre as part of the Fringe event for the International Festival of Gilbert and Sullivan.

But this time we will form a unique partnership with Wolverton Gilbert & Sullivan Society who are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year by taking their production of The Zoo to perform on the same afternoon. In a unique opportunity, performers are able to perform in both productions if they wish, working with different Musical Directors and Directors. It is a marvellous opportunity to see other amateur and professional companies performing top quality G&S shows, to listen to speakers about the world of Gilbert & Sullivan, and a social event for morning to night as a celebration of all things G&S.

November 2014: Our Presidents Elected!

Our Presidents, Anne and Tony Critchley
Many congratulations to Anne and Tony Critchley who have moved from being our Presidents Elect to our Presidents Elected (with overwhelming enthusiasm) at our November 2014 AGM.

This may be a tad of a step down for Anne and Tony as, since our Production of Princess Ida at the Buxton International Festival in 2004, they have been known as Queen Anne and King Tony. Frankly, when it came to supporting us through all the ins and outs of it, they ruled! Anne deserves a special mention for dealing with bags full of wet woolly knitted chain mail. And their support for all things PBGS has been staunch ever since in many practical and important ways. I don't know about everyone else at Putt, but when they turn up at a rehearsal I try extra hard so they can see what we are really capable of. The best kind of Presidents are the ones you want to make proud.

In other words, we don't know what we'd do without them!

 September 2014: David wins Noda District 3 Award for Pooh Bah in our 2014 PBGS Mikado

David as Pooh Bah
Congratulations to David Crew who won Best Male Performance in a Musical in the 2014 Noda East District 3 Awards for his wonderful performance as Pooh Bah in our Spring 2014 production of The Mikado! We know Pooh Bah was your dream part, David, so we are thrilled for you! Our collective bosom swells with pride...

As if that wasn't enough PBGS also won runner up for Most Colourful and Suitable Costumes. I think everyone who saw the production would agree they were nothing less than fab!

Photos of PBGS's Noda East District 3 Awards, with thanks to Nova Horley:

David Crew being presented with his Best Male Performance in a Musical award by Graham Thompson. David won for his outstanding performance as Pooh Bah in our 2014 production of The Mikado

Our Secretary, Paula Fraser, receiving our Runner Up award for Most Colourful and Suitable Costumes for The Mikado.

Our Chairman, Richard Fraser, receiving the Best Actor award on David's behalf at the official presentation.

Noda District 3 Nomination 2013

 Brian as Prince Charming in 'Trial by Jury'

Congratulations to Brian Miles who was nominated for Best Male Performance in a Musical for his outstanding Carboy and Defendant in our Spring 2013 Triple Bill!

PBGS performs in the West End!

On 25th June, six PBGS performers, one Musical Director and 2 Wolverton G&S performers - with a technical Chairman - headed to the Harold Pinter Theatre in London's West End. Given one weeks' notice by the BBC's "The One Show" to perform the opening chorus from Iolanthe, we dragged the costumes out of the garage, choreographed the number, organised 2 rehearsals and gathered as much fairy dust as possible! Read the full report of our adventure here and watch this space for more photos of our fairies all lit up. Although the sequence ended up on the cutting room floor due to time constraints on the day, we loved being involved in this!

Noda Eastern District Award Nomination 2012

Our wonderfully funny Spring 2012 Production of Patience was one of three musicals nominated for a NODA Eastern Region Best Musical Award! Although we didn't win, being nominated is a considerable achievement against some very stiff competition.

Congratulations to our Producer, Alison Gibbs and our MD Margaret Johnson for getting the best out of us and giving us a fantastic show, and to everyone on stage and off who put everything into the production. The show was hugely enjoyed by our enthusiastic audiences and it's wonderful to see all our efforts recognised.

PBGS Celebrates 40 years of performing

Our October 2011 performance of the G&S Sketch Show in Hitchin marked the end of our 40th Anniversary Celebrations which have taken us from our performance of Ruddigore at the Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin, in May, through to performing the Sketch Show in Henlow, Buxton and at finally at Hitchin. It's been a busy year for PBGS!

JULY 31 2011 Putteridge Bury performs at the Buxon International G&S Festival Fringe

©Sue Wookey

Putteridge Bury took the G&S Sketch Show to the 2011 Buxton International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival as part of the Festival Fringe. The show went down a storm with an appreciative Festival audience. See our blog page for the full story!

©Sue Wookey