2014 News


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Princess Ida 2015 - cast of principals announced

We are delighted to announce our cast of principals for Princess Ida to be performed next year at Harrogate Theatre in May, and at the Royal Hall, Harrogate in August. It was great to see so many people auditioning and we have got a great team of characters to bring this lovely sparkling operetta to life. We are only sorry that we could not appoint everyone who auditioned to a character part - the standard from everyone who auditioned was so high and we would like to thank each and every one.

Please visit our Princess Ida page from the left hand menu to see who is doing what - and please keep coming back to keep up to date with news and more information as it becomes available.


The Society is set to perform at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival 2015

We are proud to announce that the Society has been asked to return to the International G&S Festival for the third year running. We are delighted that we will be able to reprise Princess Ida, set to be performed at Harrogate Theatre in May, for one night only in August during the Festival's second year in Harrogate. It will be a privilege and a pleasure to be able to perform our annual production again in our home town and entertain an audience drawn from near and far, whether familiar with, or new to, the delightful twists and turns of plots so successfully married with the engaging music that makes Gilbert and Sullivan operettas so unique.


International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival 2014 Awards

The Festival Awards have been announced and we are very proud to have been nominated in four categories:
Best character actor - Bobbie Greatorex as Sir Joseph Porter KCB
Best supporting actress - Liz Kelley as Little Buttercup
Best concerted item - 'Never mind the why and wherefore' with Helen Johnson, Donald Stephenson and Bobbie Greatorex
Best costume - Mary Glaze, Elizabeth Stagewear
The competition was very stiff with great performances from so many societies, individual actors and actresses and production teams and we are delighted to have been recognised for so many aspects of our own production.

We say 'well done' to everyone!

HMS Pinafore to be performed at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival

We are delighted to announce that the society will be performing their 2014 production as part of the world famous International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival that takes place in Harrogate, its' new home, this year for the first time.

HMS Pinafore takes to the stage on Tuesday 12 August at the magnificent Royal Hall, Harrogate.

We are also pleased to announce that, with our original Dick Deadeye being unavailable for this one-off performance, the part will be performed by David MacDonald, another of our very talented principals.


Announcing Princess Ida as our 2015 production

We are delighted to announce that our next show will be Princess Ida.

Many consider that this opera contains the best of Sullivan's music alongside some of the funniest lines in Gilbert's libretto. This is the only three-act Gilbert & Sullivan opera and was last performed by the society in 2004.

Watch out for news as plans develop for this new exciting production - whether your interest lies in performing with us, helping backstage, or watching as a member of our valued audience.


Competition winners receive complimentary tickets to HMS Pinafore

Congratulations to the winners of our competition in Down Your Way magazine who each receive two tickets to see HMS Pinafore:

First out of the hat from the correct entries submitted are:

Mr D Sutcliffe, Scarborough
Mrs I Lawrence, Ripon
Mr P Long, Yeadon
Mrs D Brown, Rotherham
Mrs E Umpleby, Harrogate

The paper boat challenge - prizes and free tickets for children aboard HMS Pinafore

Theatre-goers will have more than great music and comic action to look forward to when the Society takes HMS Pinafore to the stage in Harrogate Theatre. This year's souvenir programme includes a challenge for younger members of the audience, with a cut-out sheet and origami-style instructions to create a paper boat. Children aged 11 and under will be able to win prizes for the best paper boats that are made - and some will be used to decorate the theatre.
The Society is offering free tickets for up to two children accompanied by an adult, and is hoping for lots of paper boats to be entered into the paper boat challenge. And if parents or family members pick up a programme, even children who could not come to Harrogate Theatre to see this wonderful family show can take part by using the paper boat cut-out in each programme and then dropping the finished boat into the theatre before the end of the run - they too could win a prize.
Catherine Culligan, Chair of the Society says 'The theme of our posters and programme incorporate a beautiful paper HMS Pinafore so we hope it will inspire younger members of the audience to have a go at making their own paper boats'.


Le Not So Grand Depart as Bobby gets on his bicycle for HMS Pinafore

It was a case of 'Bobby on a bicycle' when cast members of HMS Pinafore got into the 'Tour de France' spirit during their recent photoshoot. Bobby Greatorex (pictured below) is playing the comic role of Sir Joseph Porter KCB, the First Lord of the Admiralty, who has been promised the hand of Josephine, the Captain's daughter - she, however, loves a common sailor and trouble soon ensues. Bobby, from Wakefield, is a leading Gilbert and Sullivan tenor and is also a keen cycling fan and couldn't resist the temptation to bring two of his interests together in a slightly unusual (but topical) way

You can read more information about Bobby in our Biographies Section.

World class baritone Donald Stephenson to captain HMS Pinafore when she sets sail at Harrogate Theatre

World class baritone and former Welsh National Opera star, Donald Stephenson, will be taking charge of HMS Pinafore when the Society's production sets sail in May. Donald has had a long international career, performing with Welsh National Opera, English National Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera and at the Aldeburgh festival with Peter Pears and has only recently retired from professional opera.
Donald will play Captain Corcoran, the ill-fated master of HMS Pinafore in the comic opera, and says he is looking forward to returning to Harrogate. 'Harrogate Gilbert and Sullivan Society is such an exciting and vibrant company to work with. We are so well looked after and in such a beautiful theatre', he says.
You can read more information about Donald in our Biographies Section.


A land-locked photo-shoot for HMS Pinafore

With rehearsals well under way, time to start focusing on the myriad of preparations that go on behind the scenes, including the photo shoot that supports our advertising campaign. Not to be phased by being landlocked, where else to create the illusion of a cool sea breeze on board ship but in the lounge of a society member? Here you get a first glimpse of some of our talented principals and, in true David Attenborough fashion, a 'behind the lens' shot that gives the whole game away

The formal shot...
...and the not so formal shot


A winning streak!

Last year, the Society celebrated 40 years by winning Best Traditional Production at the Gilbert & Sullivan International Festival held in Buxton for an acclaimed version of The Mikado.  This year, the company returns to the Festival, now relocating to Harrogate, with its 2014 production of H.M.S. Pinafore, a traditional and lively version under the skilled direction, once again, of Alistair Donkin