As many of you will have read, all ONFife theatres will remain closed until at least April/May 2021, and it will probably take a while for some of our audience to feel confident about going to theatres again. The Management Committee has therefore taken the decision to postpone The Pirates of Penzance until February 2022, given the seasonal commitments of many who might be involved. Auditions will take place in March 2021, and details notified nearer the time. We also intend to perform a concert version of The Mikado in June 2021.
To keep us all in touch, we are intending to have a series of social events, on-line and in person (once it’s feasible). The first of these will be a Zoom Mikado sing-song on Wednesday 17 June at 7.30pm.
Other suggestions include quizzes, a socially-distanced walk and G&S speakers. Let us have your good ideas! As well as our regular members, auditionees, lapsed members and potential members will be welcome!
It would be lovely if members were prepared to continue to pay as much of their subscriptions as possible throughout this difficult time as the Society continues to have some outgoings.
We shall be prepared to respond to any changes in the COVID-19 situation that will let us get together safely.
Looking forward to seeing everyone on 17 June!
No, not for the Society quite yet, but 50 years on the stage for our founder member Robin Ożóg. Robin is pictured here receiving his 50th Year Award from NODA Scotland Councillor, Stuart McCue-Dick.
Admittedly “that happened some time ago”, to quote Nanki-Poo – it was reported on in the November NODA magazine at this link, and we missed it at the time – but when better to catch up than on Frederic’s 41st birthday? After all, that was a role that Robin played in Dunfermline way back in 1974.
Next week Robin will be playing the part of Don Alhambra with Kirkcaldy Gilbert & Sullivan Society in The Gondoliers. NODA tells us that this will be his 122nd show; our own programme reveals that it also marks what must be a record, for Robin will then have played every single male principal part in the opera, from tenor to baritone, and romantic lead to ‘undertaker’, via a certain “Castilian hidalgo of ninety-five quarterings”! Well done, Robin, on this richly-deserved recognition of your contribution to amateur theatre.
NODA awards were presented on-stage after the matinee performance on Saturday 22 February by Stuart McCue-Dick, Councillor for NODA (Scotland), with two other NODA personnel in attendance – Dorothy Johnstone, Regional Representative for District 6 (Edinburgh area) and reviewer for this show, and our very own Mike Pendlowski, appearing as his alter ego, the Regional Representative for District 7 (Fife).
These awards recognising service to amateur theatre went to:
- Joan Bell: 30 year Silver Bar
- Geoff Strong: 30 year Silver Bar
- Morag Riley: 25 year Long Service Medal
- Mary Alexander: 20 year Badge
- Clare White: 20 year Badge
This post will work its way down the page, but you can see all the recent presentation history at this link.
Dorothy Johnstone attended our Saturday matinée and reported on behalf of NODA:
An open stage revealed a stunning set with a group of sailors setting the scene meandering across the quarter deck of HMS Pinafore. These sailors then danced throughout the overture treating us to hornpipes and more balletic styles of dance. A novel concept which worked really well. The multi-level set with its many barrels and boxes strategically placed was used to great advantage. Although stylised in many ways in the manner of Gilbert and Sullivan there was a real freshness and originality about this production, especially in the use of props. Everything Little Buttercup sang about in her opening number was produced from her basket, inflatable ice cream cones and unicorn life belts appeared in the ever-popular “Never mind the why and wherefore”, and particularly impressive were the ever-changing hats worn by Sir Joseph Porter corresponding to his status as he climbed the ladder from office boy to ‘Ruler of the Queen’s Navy’. Clever!
The raucous group of sailors were in fine voice in the opening number and were disciplined and light-footed in their moves and routines using their hats. An appealing and sparkling Ralph Rackstraw (Geoff Lee) immediately gained the sympathy of the audience as he sang of his hopeless love for Josephine (Gillian Robertson), his captain’s daughter. There was a real rapport between these two, both convincing in conveying the turmoil of their feelings for each other in their duet “Refrain, audacious tar” and in Josephine’s aria “The hours creep on apace” which was wonderful and so effortless. Another clever touch here was the subtle setting left and right depicting rich and poor as Josephine weighs up the pros and cons of her future in matrimony. Josephine’s other suitor, Sir Joseph Porter (Robin Ożóg), gave a spirited performance with perfect diction and articulation in both spoken and sung word. Her father Captain Corcoran (Ross Main) looked well as a dignified upper-crust Captain, meaningfully expressing his emotions in the the lovely “Fair moon to thee I sing”. Good lighting added real atmosphere to this scene.
Buttercup (Liz Landsman) was obviously well loved by the crew and came across as a warm, caring woman who maintained her accent throughout and was quite mystical in her duet with Corcoran telling him that “Things are seldom what they seem” and finally revealing what she had done “A many years ago”. The motley crew members, the scheming almost loathsome Dick Deadeye (Nathan Macaulay-Dicks), Bill Bobstay (Jack Archibald) and Bob Becket (Willie Campbell), gave believable performances. Cousin Hebe doesn’t have a great deal to sing or say but Sinead Black injected real character into the part and looked quite charming.
This was a well-directed production with an accomplished principal cast and a very well vocally balanced chorus of sailors, sisters, cousins and aunts. There is certainly more for the men to do in HMS Pinafore than there is for women, but it is rare to see a bigger male then female chorus as was the case here. There was a real blend of voices in duets, ensembles and big chorus numbers, particularly in the finale of Act 1 and the rousing “He is an Englishman” where the part singing was most evident. A sympathetic orchestra supported the singers. The well-choreographed company movement and business using hats was well drilled and executed in a slick, confident manner. Colourful costumes and effective lighting enhanced this most enjoyable and well thought out production.
Thank you so much for inviting me along.
We may be enjoying the talents of some newcomers to the Society in this year’s production, but we also have years of experience in the two blue-blooded parts of Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre and Lady Sangazure. Encourage all your friends to come to see Robin Ożóg and Liz Landsman rekindle love in each other’s company. Or is it the warmth of her furs that excites Lady Sangazure’s passion?
At our EGM on Wednesday 12 December it was unanimously agreed that our production in 2020 should be HMS Pinafore.
What will we be playing in 2021? Well, given The Sorcerer and HMS Pinafore as predecessors, any Savoyard could take a punt at what the 50th anniversary show might be!
We are pleased to report that DGASS did particularly well this year winning the NODA Standard Programme Cup again for the third year out of four and, for the second time in our history, winning the Thomson Leng Trophy for the best show poster.
John Allen brought the cups along to the rehearsal on 31 October, both to show them off and publicly thank Martin Tarr and Fiona Main for the work that they had put in to making us successful in both competitions. Our thanks too to John, who works so tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that things happen, and writes so much excellent copy for the programme – he fully deserves the silverware!