1969 - RUDDIGORE

Ruddigore 1969

Spring 1969

Performed at the Leeds Civic Theatre

10-day run.

About The Show

The society was also starting rehearsals for The Mikado for a performance across the seas.  John Bird wrote, "The Mikado which they are to present at the Bangor Gilbert & Sullivan Festival, County Down, Northern Ireland in May."  So Ruddigore was seen as a chance to bring in some new blood.  Bird continues, "For Ruddigore, which is being produced by James Naylor, a number of the society's more experienced members are taking a back seat to allow younger members to bask in the limelight.  The society have in fact launched a drive to attract more youngsters.  They have started a Green Room for 14 to 18-year olds."

Our then society vice-chairman is quoted, "... it is hoped that senior members will take a number of youngsters under their wings.  We hope that the youngsters will sing in concerts, help backstage, or even in the orchestra".

All singing groups need to keep new people joining as, alas, the existing ones do insist on getting older.

Cast

  • Dauntless – Edward Child
  • Rose Maybud – Pauline Brown
  • Sir Despard – Alan Stirk
  • Mad Margaret – Brenda Green
  • Robin Oak Apple – Derek Scanlon
  • Dame Hannah - Margaret Kew
  • Sir Roderic - Joseph Marshall
  • Old Adam - Dennis Wheatley

 

  • Director = James Naylor
  • Musical Director = Cathleen Hill

Critical Response

F.G.L.

When it comes to manoeuvering a large and enthusiastic company on a small stage there can be few more accomplished organisations than the Leeds Gilbert & Sullivan Society, who now have reduced to a fine art the business of maintaining free movement where none would seem possible.

Certainly in their latest production of "Ruddigore" they have provided a sizeable bunch of their members with a chance to appear in what is probably one of the best sung productions they have ever staged."

Pauline Brown and Derek Scanlon lead well as Rose Maybud and Sir Ruthven, and are strongly supported by Edward Child as a nimble-footed Richard Dauntless.  Alan Stirk and Brenda Green pair beautifully as Sir Despard and Mad Margeret, and Margaret Kew's youthful Dame Hannah is in tune with the substantial ghost of Sir Roderic provided by Joseph Marshall.  Dennis Wheatley manages to give his role of Old Adam something of the aged look, but even he is affected by the youthful zest of this happy band.

The chorus sings splendidly, and the orchestra, under Cathleen Hill, does very well indeed.  The show, colourfully dressed and expertly staged, is produced by James Naylor.

1968 - MIKADO

The Mikado1968

Spring 1968

Performed at the Leeds Civic Theatre

About The Show

A classic show lead by our strong team.

Cast

  • Ko-Ko – James Naylor
  • Nanki-Poo - Edward Child
  • Pooh-Bah – Kenneth Hill
  • Yum Yum – Pauline Brown
  • Katisha – Pauline Jones
  • Mikado – Joseph Marshall

 

  • Director = James Naylor
  • Musical Director = Cathleen Hill

Critical Response

F.G.L.  Enjoyment on and off stage

Traditional, clearly sung and beautifully staged, this society find the Savoy mannerisms of this delightful and eccentric opera.

"James Naylor in his production contained this fleet-footed and light-voiced work in the small stage space of this theatre."

1967 - The Pirates Of Penzance

& Trial By Jury

Pirates Of Penzance - 1967

Spring 1967

Performed at the Leeds Civic Theatre

About The Show

Two of the favourites paired together.

Cast

Pirates Of Penzance

  • Pirate King – Kenneth Hill
  • General - James Naylor
  • Frederic – Edward Child
  • Mabel – Pauline Brown
  • Sergeant – Joseph Marshall
  • Ruth - Margaret McDonald

Trial By Jury

  • Judge – Robert Birkhead
  • Plaintiff - Pauline Brown
  • Defendant – Raymond Firth
  • Usher - Francis Hill
  • Counsel - Derk Scanlon

 

  • Director = James Naylor
  • Musical Director = Cathleen Hill

Critical Response

F.G.L.  Enjoyment on and off stage

"... the vast proliferation of Gen. Stanley's daughters and the pirate band provide a strong chorus to a show well sung, nicely dressed and staged and produced with near-professional skill."

1966 - IOLANTHE

& Trial By Jury

Iolanthe Lords- 1966

Spring 1966

Performed at the Civic Theatre in Leeds.  April 1958

About The Show

Iolanthe is a show that always encourages us to compare the foolishness of the politics (and politicians) in the show with the present day lords leaping around Westminster.  Ronald Braime was certainly so inspired in his President's Foreward in the programme.

"Recent events may have disproved Gilbert's dictum that every child is born either a Liberal or Conservative.  Nevertheless many will think that his association of fairy storeis with Westminster is as apposite today as it was 84 years ago..."

The Society itself seemed to be especially harmonious (or not, depending on your point of view) as the newspaper clipping explains, "Involved in one way or another in this year's Leeds G&S Society show ... are at least 12 married couples".  I do like the 'at least' which I assume either means some may have been secretly betrothed, or they were getting married so often that it was hard to keep up.  It certainly seems to have helped the James Naylor (producer), "When both are interested in the society you tend to get better attendances at rehearsals."

Our experience of a 'close-knit family' certainly continues in today's society.  I cannot vouch for its affect on attendance.

Reading the press clipping you get the sense of a society confident in itself and what it is doing.

Cast

  • Lord Chancellor - James Naylor
  • Earl of Mountararat - Kenneth Hill
  • Earl Tolloller - Robert Birkhead
  • Private Willis - Francis Hill / Joseph Marshall
  • Strephon - Edward Child
  • Queen of the Fairies - Nancy Birkhead
  • Iolanthe - Brenda Green
  • Phyllis - Pauline Jagger
  • Celia - Iris Reedman
  • Leila - Margaret Beck
  • Fleta - Enid Wilson
  • Chancellor's Attendant - Michael Birkhead / Kim Green

 

  • Producer/Director = James Naylor
  • Musical Director = Cathleen Hill

Critical Response

It seems that the 'close-knit' Society lead to a very successful show.  "Indeed many who know them intimately may think their effort musically as good as anything they have yet done."  And, "The production is one which enchants throughout and is recommended to all who want to see Gilbert & Sullivan".  The principals all fair well under the critic's gaze, for example  "James Naylor... Kenneth Hill... and Robert Birkhead... all give first-class performances".

1963 - PRINCESS IDA

& Trial By Jury

Princess Ida - 1963

Spring 1963

Performed at Leeds Civic Theatre

About The Show

Send any more photos or other info to me.

Cast

Cast included:

  • Scynthius:  Michael Brown
  • Arac:  Sykes Snr.
  • Guron:  Joseph Marshall

Critical Response

Clippings

1961 - Patience

Patience - 1961

Spring 1961

Performed from February 17, at the Leeds Civic Theatre

About The Show

An extended run by starting on a Friday.  "By opening on a Friday instead of a Monday, Leeds Gilbert & Sullivan Society have this year added two more days to their annual season, and they showed last night with their first performance of Patience at Leeds Civic Theatre thay they are determined to make their longer run a success."

This was the first (and possibly only) show that Tom Westmoreland produced for the Society.

Cast

  • Archibald – Kenneth Hill
  • Bunthorne - James Naylor
  • Patience – Pauline Jagger
  • Lady Jane – May Waterhouse
  • Army Officers – Joseph Marshall, Michael Sharman, and John Goodyer
  • Maidens - Kathlyn Whitaker, Margaret Bumby, and Wynne Chapman
  • Solicitor - Ronald Pearson

 

  • Director = Tom Westmoreland
  • Musical Director = Cathleen Hill

Critical Response

Leeds Savoyard' 'Patience' justifies its longer run

"The Society, with a really strong cast, gives it a carefully-studied performance, catching all the delicacy of the melody while at the same time preserving the richly humorous atmosphere of its farcical story."

"That wicked dig at the aesthetic poet - Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience - is delivered deftly and deliciously by the Leeds G. and S. Society in the Leeds Civic Theatre."

"Tom Westmoreland, tackling his first production for this society, never allows the continuity to flag. and musical director Cathleen Hill provides the usual driving force."

"As always. Pauline Jagger is the model Gilbertian heroine. coy and bewildered - except in her singing."

"James Naylor sings well as the sim­pering poet, and Kenneth Hill, the supreme egoist as the idyllic poet, is also in fine voice."

1960 - The Mikado

The Mikado - 1960

Spring 1960

Performed from March 21-26, at the Leeds Civic Theatre

About The Show

It was only six years since the society had first performed this wonderful show.  As 1960 was the 75th anniversary of the first production of The Mikado, performing this masterpiece again was likely an easy choice.  It was certainly a popular one with the first night "enjoyed to the full by a packed audience" and "... brought full bookings for the rest of the week."

It sounds like the rehearsal process had its challenges.  "Nobody has been keeping a tally as to how many fans were broken but I'm told it can be counted in scores."  The Society were well aware of these dangers so kept the finest fans for show week, "Luckily, the society has been able to buy some cheap copies of the elaborate fans that they will be hiring specially from the suppliers of the D'Oyle Carte company."

It is a show that is traditionally tweaked to add modern references.  We do not mean major changes to plot or form, but songs like "I've Got Him On My List" offer opportunities for digs at current day characters.  "The ancient Japanese setting enchanting and colourful as ever, echoes to references to 'Those apologetic statesmen - Mac and Hugh.' and to talk of skiffle groups and nuclear physicists.  G&S might well be turning in their grave at this liberty-taking, but last night's audience...rejoiced at the topicality of it all."

Cast

  • Ko-Ko – James Naylor
  • Nanki-Poo - Trevor Myers
  • Pooh-Bah – Kenneth Hill
  • Yum Yum – Pauline Jagger
  • Katisha – Doreen Taylor
  • Mikado – Joseph Marshall
  • Pish-Tush - John Harris
  • Pitti-Sing - Margaret Brown
  • Peep-Bo - Joyce Wilkinson

 

  • Producer = James Naylor
  • Musical Director = Cathleen Hill

Critical Response

It seems the Society principles were in good form for this show.

"Once again the Society display a fine standard, which is particularly distinguished by the playing of the principals."

My guess is the chorus skill was a little more varied.

"The chorus, too, are as enthusiastic as ever, and fulfil their duties admirably in cramped conditions."