In 2008 George was awarded the NODA 40-year bar for service to the amateur stage.
At school George took part in many plays, but it wasn’t until he went to Dundee to train to be a teacher that he responded to a call from the University Operatic Society for more men (no change then as now) that he took part in his first musical Die Fledermaus. This gave him an enduring interest in musical theatre and a move to work in special education in Dunfermline in 1972 provided his first chance to appear on the Carnegie Hall stage as a dancer and chorus boy in No, No, Nanette, a sadly-neglected genuine 1920s show.
In 1975 George got married and moved to live and work in Edinburgh and then Cupar, but came back to work at Woodmill High School, where a chance conversation with George Baxter, who worked in the school and who was the Society’s MD at the time, resulted in him getting the part of Lord Mountararat and a lifelong interest in the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, especially the more serious work of the latter. George moved to work in Perth in 1987, but returned to the Society as our director between 1997 and 2000. He particularly enjoyed directing La Vie Parisienne one of the Society’s occasional forays away from G&S.
During that time he also performed with and directed for Perth City Operatic Group, mainly G&S, including a memorable ‘Edwardian’ Mikado set in Gilbert’s garden at Grim’s Dyke, his home between 1890 and 1911, and in whose pond Gilbert drowned (which didn’t feature in that version of The Mikado!)
After directing for DGASS, George took up a similar role for Broughty Ferry Opera in Dundee and was able to extend his repertoire to include more Broadway shows, operetta (The Gipsy Baron) and G&S again: The Gondoliers and an Iolanthe in which that renegade fairy did emerge from a real pool, although not upside down!
George has continued to perform on the Carnegie Hall stage, most memorably in the title role in Scrooge in 2005 and most recently as Fagin in 2008. George enjoyed directing The Mikado in 2014 for Perth City Operatic Group but, following their 2015 show, decided to take a break from directing after 28 shows, though he continues to be involved in amateur musical theatre.
Appearances with Dunfermline Gilbert & Sullivan Society
|La Vie Parisienne
|The Pirates of Penzance
|Duke of Plaza-Toro