Members have been enjoying regular weekly sessions that combine an opportunity to sing with a chance to chat and to extend our knowledge of Gilbert and Sullivan. Recently we had a really good, fun, performance of The Merryman and his Maid, a pantomime devised and directed by Robin Ożóg. A great evening was had by all, including our guests for the evening from other societies. Maybe we’ll even get an opportunity later in the year to present the work in live performance!
Last June we had to postpone our planned concert version of The Mikado, and can’t perform it live this year either, so our next project is a Zoom performance on 16 June. As with the panto, music will be pre-recorded by members, and you can sing along (muted) to the end result. We are putting a cast together and hope for even more numbers to join us for this venture.
Given the ongoing and uncertain COVID-19 situation, we’re not able to meet in person, and it’s likely that we won’t be able to commence music rehearsals as usual in August. However, we still plan to perform The Pirates of Penzance in front of a live audience, and the practicalities of how we prepare for that are being worked out.
If you’re an audience member, make sure that Thursday to Saturday 17–19 February 2022 is in your diary; if you fancy the idea of being part of the cast, why not get in touch today and join our Zoom community? For more information, drop an email to Ellen (ku.gro.ssagdnull@nelle).
Normally at this time of the year we would be well into rehearsals and starting to think about getting on the floor and beginning to find out what our director has in mind for us. Well that was then, and this is now. Whatever ‘normal’ is I’m not sure. It certainly isn’t anything that we know.
However, as many of you will know we haven’t been idle during our enforced stand-down. For the past few months we have had regular Zoom meetings, singing through a variety of G&S classics. We’ve also discovered that W S Gilbert did more than write librettos. He also wrote a number of plays, one of which we performed recently.
We have a few more things in the pipeline, but more of that later.
Now I know that Zooming isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and not everyone can or wants to take part in these sessions. If there was something else we could do, then we would, but right now we just can’t. No one knows how long this will last.
So for the time being, just keep on singing whenever and wherever you can. And above all else, stay safe and keep well.
ONFife having announced that their theatres (Carnegie Hall, Adam Smith Theatre, Lochgelly Centre and Rothes Halls) will remain closed until at least April/May 2021, we have decided to postpone our special anniversary production of The Pirates of Penzance until February 2022, so the Carnegie Hall has been booked for Thursday to Saturday 17–19 February 2022.
We are also planning to perform our postponed concert version of The Mikado in June 2021. Between now and when we are next able to rehearse together, members will continue to keep in touch, and to keep G&S alive in West Fife, by appropriately COVID-compliant means!
This is the question that Don Alhambra asks in Act 1 of The Gondoliers, and gets the unexpected reply that it’s everybody’s birthday, this “curious coincidence” being explained by the fact that the two couples have just been married!
Today is the Society’s 50th birthday – as you’ll read at this link, DGASS was formed at a public meeting held on Wednesday, 13 May 1970. And today would also have been Sir Arthur Sullivan’s birthday – Radio 3 remembered this year, and played the music for one of the tableaux for his 1897 Victoria and Merrie England – though sadly he died in 1900.
Funny sort of birthday it will be, given the current epidemic, but at least we’ll get a chance to meet on-line, and perhaps raise a glass to the continuing prosperity of the Society!
Our HMS Pinafore quarter-deck had five happy cast members after the Saturday matinée. To find out who they are, and why they are happy, go to this link!
Our worthy bo’sun has given the production the thumbs up … as did everyone we spoke to after the show. One email we received said: “We thoroughly enjoyed the show yesterday – as always the performance was superb. It was good to see younger members performing. The backdrop as always was stunning. Well done to everyone. Next year will see … 20 years supporting the Dunfermline G&S. Book our usual seats!”
So, thank you to our loyal audience members, thank you to the cast (who will be missing their nightly intake of the goodies from Jack’s Caff!), and a special thank you to the Director, MD and stage staff who pulled the show together and made it something of which the Society can be proud.
We’ll have an archive page shortly, but don’t forget the next date for your diary, which is Friday 19 June, when our concert performance of The Mikado will have a very special guest in the role of Katisha! Watch this page for details.
… to see our HMS Pinafore team in action at Dunfermline’s Carnegie Hall. Rae put it well on Facebook when she said: “Loved the show last night! What a well-drilled crew and Porter family. Everyone was clearly having a ball, and that’s what I like to see.”
Your webmaster was also in the audience for the first performance of the Society’s latest production and was very impressed. Some fine singing, excellent characterisation, and a truly amazing number of moves for everyone in the chorus numbers – he was told later that one of the apparently simpler numbers had 60 moves – but, above all, great fun on stage, which came over very clearly to the audience.
We’re deliberately not showing any pictures of the set (appropriately nautical, and with some challenging changes in level, just like a real ship of the line), or the costumes (excellent to look at and, for the crew at least, claimed to be surprisingly comfortable), because we want to encourage you to ignore the present inclement weather, and head to Portsmouth harbour, where you will enjoy some splendid entertainment!