A Nice Dilemma Poster

Autumn 2018

Premier Performance:  October 7th - 2018 - St Margaret's Church, Bramley, Leeds

Then soon after performances in Thorner and Tingley.

About The Show

Around 2014 a strange idea started to form in Sarah’s “brain far-seeing”.  Writing a piece using the music of Gilbert & Sullivan, but with a completely new book.  This would be a fun and funny musical, showing off the strengths of the Leeds Gilbert & Sullivan Society.  Sarah made the classic mistake of admitting to these ideas forming in her head, and when she offered to write “A Nice Dilemma” the response was a unanimous “Yes, Please!”.

Although, A Nice Dilemma would lovingly poke fun at some of the tropes of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, it would also explore the deep themes of an amateur group keeping the shows themselves alive and thriving in the modern world.

In the original programme for the show, Sarah wrote, “We deal with the very real issues our beloved operettas are facing, including those awkward age differences in leading couples, happy endings normally brought about by hilarious mistaken identity, and the fact that audiences are increasingly hard to come by”.

Sarah found the perfect scenario to manoeuvre through these realities. “A Nice Dilemma”, she wrote, ”is centred on the idea that the beloved characters of Gilbert & Sullivan have physical form and are living in the world around us.  However, they only continue to exist while their shows are performed – and with falling audience numbers, some of the characters have faded and disappeared”

In 2016 the project started in earnest.  Firstly, Sarah sat and watched all the original filmed performances of all the shows – a set of very long weekends!  She started writing and bravely started sharing early drafts with a few friends who gave her the bad news that it was great so she had to keep going.

Jonathan Drummond, Musical Director for Leeds Gilbert & Sullivan Society (and friend), came on board to help on choosing musical numbers from the famous operettas.  In addition, he took on arranging two primary pieces.  Jonathan wrote, “My thoughts turned immediately to how I could incorporate Sir Arthur’s well-loved music into the new environs of this show.  Most of the numbers could be worked into the show without too much editing, but two of them required more careful thought and preparation:  the Madrigal Competition and The Nightingale Sighed.”

A Nice Dilemma was first performed at St Margaret’s Church Hall in Bramley on October 7th 2017 by Leeds Gilbert & Sullivan Society.  Everyone who attended smiled and laughed and left remembering Gilbert & Sullivan Operettas survive for a good reason – people like Sarah.


Wilfred Shadbolt        Yeoman Of The Guard   -    Richard Pascoe

Hebe                           H.M.S. Pinafore             -    Rowena Thornton

Buttercup                   H.M.S. Pinafore             -    Judith Huntley

Captain Corcoran       H.M.S. Pinafore             -    Graeme Lister

Mad Margaret             Ruddigore                      -    Judith Smith

Fairy Queen               Iolanthe                         -    Katie Lister

Princess Ida               Princess Ida                   -    Heather Greenwood

2nd Yeoman                Yeoman Of The Guard   -    Janet Johnston

Celia                           Iolanthe                         -    Gillian Myers

Coxorbox                   Cox And Box                  -    Sarah Case

Phoebe                       Yeoman Of The Guard   -    Anne Futers

Ralph Rackstraw        H.M.S. Pinafore             -    Alan Stirk

Robin Oakapple         Ruddigore                      -    Fraser Wilkinson

The Mikado                The Mikado                    -    Andrew Aspland

Katisha                       The Mikado                    -    Jazz Caine

Nanki-Poo                  The Mikado                    -    Matthew Oglesby

Yum-Yum                   The Mikado                    -    Emily Futers

Pitti-Sing                    The Mikado                    -    Hannah Birch

Peep-Bo                     The Mikado                    -    Emma Smith

Pirate King                 Pirates Of Penzance      -    Jason Weightman

Ruth                           Pirates Of Penzance      -    Shirley Hoyland

Frederick                    Pirates Of Penzance      -    Simon Bray

Mabel                         Pirates Of Penzance      -    Emma Stirk

The Notary                 The Sorcerer, Patience, & The Grand Duke    -    Scott Pen

  • Director = Sarah Case;  Musical Director = Jonathan Drummond

Critical Response

Quotes coming