The Gondoliers: Tickets On Sale Now!

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Come and see Leon Berger’s colourful update set in 20th century Venice with plenty of lovesick gondolieri and contadine, outrageous dukes and duchesses, a princess and her chauffeur (!) and all the wonderful music and dancing you can rely on from Gilbert and Sullivan and from GLOC!

The show will take place at the Bridewell Theatre, off Fleet Street in central London, from Wednesday 6th to Saturday 9th October 2021. Performances at 7.30pm each evening, with an additional Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

Get your tickets here for a special early bird price of £14, available until 7 September. Don’t miss out!

About the Gondoliers

The Gondoliers; or, The King of Barataria is a comic opera with music by Sir Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S.Gilbert. It was their twelfth collaboration and their last major success, with an initial run of 554 performances. The plot concerns two newly-married Venetian gondoliers, one of whom turns out to be the King of the island of Barataria. The only trouble is that nobody can remember which of the two Gondoliers is the King, except for their old nursemaid, and she isn’t due to turn up until the end of Act II. To add to the complications, the newly-wed King (whichever he is) discovers he was also married in infancy to the daughter of the Duke of Plaza Toro, who has reluctantly arrived to claim her husband, despite really being in love with the Duke’s drummer boy. This relatively lightweight plot allows space for Gilbert to poke fun at, amongst other things, republican working monarchs and impoverished mercenary aristocrats, as well as allowing more space for Sullivan’s music, most notably in the extended opening scene.

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Sam Everton – an obituary

GLOC regrets to announce that we were recently informed that Sam Everton, a GLOC member for over 50 years between 1950 and 2001, has died at the age of 99. The following obituary was written by Christopher Roberts, a fellow member for several of those years. Our thoughts are with his wife, Pam, at this time, and we are extremely grateful for all the considerable support they have given to GLOC over several decades.

Sam Everton as Antonio in The Gondoliers

SAM EVERTON – GLOC 1950-2001

Sam Everton, a Grosvenor member for over 50 years, died on 25th April at the age of 99.

When he arrived in England from Czechoslovakia in 1939, he had no previous experience of musical theatre or singing. Because at that time he was an artist, he was asked to design some stage sets for The Country Girl, but then he saw a production of HMS Pinafore and subsequently joined the chorus for a production of The Yeomen of the Guard. Thusstarted his lifetime’s enthusiasm for Gilbert and Sullivan.

When he saw the inaugural production of Iolanthe by the Grosvenor in 1950, he was so impressed with the high standard, that he joined up for their next production. He then appeared in every show for the next 50 years, thus becoming the longest serving member in the history of the company.

Despite having no previous musical training, he learned the chorus parts of every G and S comic opera and had the great advantage of a strong natural tenor voice and an infectious enthusiasm on stage.

In some operas he sang solo parts, notably Antonio and Francesco in The Gondoliers, Samuel (most appropriately!) in The Pirates of Penzance, and Sir Bailey Barre in Utopia Ltd. The latter opera given by GLOC in 1962 was a real rarity at that time, and this also applied to The Grand Duke in which Sam appeared in 1966. Between these two in 1964 Sam was also in the first amateur performance of Engaged (where Sullivan’s music was adapted to a play by Gilbert), presented by GLOC the year after the first professional performance.

Sam’s stage manner was of complete commitment and great enthusiasm and, of course, he had perfect recall of the text, music and production.

He also served on the committee as Publicity Officer for many years and, on the social side, he organised very enjoyable outings for the company to The Player’s Theatre at Charing Cross, which included much heckling of the chairman from Grosvenor members!

He was always welcoming to new recruits, and particularly encouraging to the young people in the company. In fact, he would dispense invaluable advice to young and old.

In 2000, he almost missed the production of Princess Ida when he required urgent cardiac surgery only a few weeks beforehand. However, that didn’t stop Sam and, amazingly, he was back at rehearsals marching up and down the stage as one of King Hildebrand’s soldiers just in time for the show.

He appeared in 63 productions altogether. His final show was The Yeomen of the Guard in 2001, in his eightieth year when, unbelievably, he reprised another solo part – the First Yeoman, this time very appropriately for his age and experience.

He met his wife, Pam, when she joined the company in the 1960s and they were married in 1972. Pam appeared in many productions herself and was a distinguished chairman of the company. Together known affectionately to us all as ‘Spam’, after they left the company they continued to support GLOC and enjoy a younger generation’s performances for a number of years.

In 2014, Sam’s great friend Terry Bygraves wrote a biography entitled Sam’s Song which covers all aspects of his incredible life. In my copy Sam has inscribed ‘With best wishes, In Friendship’s Name’, and friendship was the quality that he encouraged.

Old Grosvenor programmes used to display a crest with a quotation of five notes from The Sorcerer and the Latin inscription ‘Et Corde et Voce’ which encapsulates Sam’s contribution to The Grosvenor: ‘Et corde et voce’ – ‘With heart and with voice.’

At his funeral service on 21st May, after the Czech national anthem and music by Smetana and Elgar we heard ‘Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes’ and what we and Sam regarded as the Grosvenor national anthem – ‘Hail Poetry’.

Chris Roberts

New proposed dates for The Gondoliers

Given the uncertainty surrounding the lifting of lockdown and loosening of social distancing requirements, the committee was increasingly nervous about our chances of putting on a June 2021 show in line with our usual practice. We’ve been in touch with the Bridewell Theatre and are really pleased to say that we have secured a week later in the year.

Accordingly, show week for our delayed 2020 production of The Gondoliers is now Sunday 3rd October – Saturday 9th October, with performances 6th – 9th October.

At the time of this post, we are currently contacting those involved in the production prior to the pandemic bringing everything to a halt to try and work out a rehearsal schedule which works for as many people as possible, given this is not our normal time of year to put on a performance.

If you are new and would like to get involved, please do contact us.

Postponement of The Gondoliers until 2021 and winter show intention

We have decided to postpone our planned production of The Gondoliers until June 2021.  With theatres still closed and social distancing measures possibly in place for the foreseeable future, we feel that this will give GLOC the best chance of being able to put on a fantastic show. We very much hope that our principals and chorus will be able to join us in 2021 for the spectacular show we had planned.

If all is well with the Bridewell Theatre, the provisional dates for show week would be 20-26 June 2021.

For a winter show, we are looking to do an informal cabaret style show if possible.  This will obviously be highly dependent on what the rules and guidelines are concerning such events at the time.

 

Postponement of The Gondoliers

Regrettably, as a result of the current global pandemic and UK lockdown, we will not be performing The Gondoliers as planned between 3-6 June.

We are in discussions with the theatre over whether there is a week in which we might be able to perform later in the year, in the event current restrictions are lifted sufficiently to allow rehearsal prior to this.  The theatre obviously has several groups in a similar position to us, so there no guarantee this will be possible; we will update this site if we have any further news on this point.

In the meantime, if you are in need of some GLOC-based Gilbert and Sullivan during the current lockdown, then you can find a few videos from past productions on our YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe7-qivDRok4xgTs6eq_hHg

Coronavirus – GLOC update

In light of the updated government guidelines regarding the coronavirus, the committee has had to make some tough decisions about rehearsals and the show. With the guidance changing day to day, it’s so difficult to anticipate what might be going on in a few weeks.

For now, we are cancelling rehearsals until further notice.  We will keep the situation under review, and when necessary we will make further decisions about whether to try to proceed with the show (and somehow make up lost rehearsal time) or whether to postpone (if we can get another date).

We also send our love to people for whom the arts and music is a life and not just a hobby; things are so much more devastating for them (and we include our own professionals in that).

Cast announced for The Gondoliers

We are delighted to announce the cast for this year’s production of The Gondoliers is as follows:

 

Gianetta – Rachel Wood

Tessa – Alex Hill

Marco – Andrew Hurst

Guiseppe – Stoo Gill

Duke of Plaza Toro – Colin McKenna

Duchess of Plaza Toro – Charlotte Collier

Luiz – Tom Dalton

Casilda – Debbie Lee

Don Alhambra del Bolero – Liam Geoghegan

Fiametta – Maja Dabagh

Vittoria – Alicia Fothergill

Giulia – Ali Dixon

Francesco – Paddy Cockshutt

Giorgio – Jonathan Broad

Antonio – Tom Bruggenwirth

Annibale – Daniel Morris

Inez – Laura Burgoyne

 

If you wish to join our chorus, you may still be able to do so – please see “Join GLOC” for more information.

Last chance to audition for a principal role for The Gondoliers

There are just a handful of spaces left to audition on 8 February 2020 for a principal role in our summer 2020 production of The Gondoliers.

There are no auditions for chorus – you need only enthusiasm and availability.

Auditions are by appointment only; to apply, please fill in the form in the Welcome Pack (link below).

We have put together a Welcome Pack with full details about GLOC, the production, the rehearsal process and how to audition for a principal role.    If there is anything you need to know which is not covered in the Welcome Pack, please do make contact with us.

Start of rehearsals and auditions for The Gondoliers

We will shortly be starting rehearsals for our summer production of The Gondoliers.  We kick things off with an open rehearsal on 29 January 2020 at 6.45pm in St Gabriel’s Halls, Pimlico.  This is an ideal opportunity for anyone thinking of joining the company or wanting to dip a toe into the water of G&S to come along and meet the director and MD, and get an overview of the production and rehearsal process.

Auditions for principal roles will be on 5th February and 8th February.  There are no auditions for chorus – you need only enthusiasm and availability.

We have put together a Welcome Pack with full details about GLOC, the production, the rehearsal process and how to audition for a principal role.    If there is anything you need to know which is not covered in the Welcome Pack, please do make contact with us.

New members, young and old, are always welcome, and we’d be delighted to see you on 29th January.