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The Gondoliers

Welcome to Preston Gilbert & Sullivan Society


We desperatly need Bass singers for our production of 'The Gondoliers' March this year.

Please contact us asap if you would like to join!

Our 2019 Production

Gondoliers Flyer
Tickets For Gondoliers!


We desperatly need Bass singers for our production of 'The Gondoliers' March this year.

Please contact us asap if you would like to join!

Who got what!!

Well done and a big thank you for all who came out to audition.

Congratulations to all those who were successful at our recent auditions - the cast for 2019 is :-

The Committee

The Current Committee Members

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Dr. John Wilson



Rob Joined in 1989!!!

Roberts Feeley



Sue Hurrell

Vice Chairman & Membership


Sheila Wright


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Alistair Milner



Janet Dawson

'Friends' Of


Amy Louise Hardy



Peter Wright

Men Rep


Joan Marshall

Ladies Rep

Gondoliers Rehearsal 2011

How young they look!!!

How to Get In Touch

Rehearsal Venue

Rehearsals will take place at Preston Minster.

( St John’s Minster) Access from Church Street is via St. Johns Place cobbled side street. Access from Queen Street, Avenham is via Shepherd Street then 1st right onto Stoneygate – car park at rear of church. 7.30PM PROMPT START !!


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Contact Us


Past Productions

  • 1954 – Iolanthe
  • 1955 – The Gondoliers
  • 1956 – The Pirates of Penzance
  • 1957 – The Mikado
  • 1958 – Ruddigore
  • 1959 – Trial by Jury & The Pirates of Penzance
  • 1960 – The Gondoliers
  • 1961 – The Yeomen of the Guard
  • 1962 – H. M. S. Pinafore
  • 1963 – The Gondoliers
  • 1964 – The Mikado
  • 1965 – The Gondoliers
  • 1966 – The Pirates of Penzance
  • 1967 – The Mikado
  • 1968 – Ruddigore
  • 1969 – Trial by Jury & The Pirates of Penzance
  • 1970 – The Gondoliers
  • 1971 – Patience
  • 1972 – Iolanthe
  • 1973 – Ruddigore
  • 1974 – The Mikado
  • 1975 – Patience
  • 1976 – Iolanthe
  • 1977 – The Gondoliers
  • 1978 – Ruddigore
  • 1979 – Trial by Jury & H. M. S. Pinafore
  • 1980 – Patience
  • 1981 – Princess Ida
  • 1982 – The Pirates of Penzance
  • 1983 – The Sorcerer
  • 1984 – The Mikado
  • 1985 – Iolanthe
  • 1986 – The Gondoliers
  • 1987 – The Yeomen of the Guard
  • 1988 – Trial by Jury & H. M. S. Pinafore
  • 1989 – Ruddigore
  • 1990 – The Mikado
  • 1991 – Patience
  • 1992 – The Pirates of Penzance
  • 1993 – Iolanthe
  • 1994 – Princess Ida
  • 1995 – The Gondoliers
  • 1996 – The Yeomen of the Guard
  • 1997 – Trial by Jury & H. M. S. Pinafore
  • 1998 – The Sorcerer
  • 1999 – The Mikado
  • 2000 – The Pirates of Penzance
  • 2001 – Ruddigore
  • 2002 – The Gondoliers
  • 2003 – Patience
  • 2004 – Iolanthe
  • 2005 – Trial by Jury & H. M. S. Pinafore
  • 2006 – The Yeomen of the Guard
  • 2007 – The Sorcerer
  • 2008 – The Pirates Of Penzance
  • 2009 – The Mikado
  • 2010 – Ruddigore
  • 2011 – The Gondoliers
  • 2012 – Iolanthe
  • 2013 – Trial by Jury & H.M.S. Pinafore
  • 2014 – The Sorcerer
  • 2015- The Pirates of Penzance
  • 2016 – Patience
  • 2017 – The Mikado
  • 2018 – Ruddigore
  • 2018 - Ruddigore (G&S Internatonal Festival Harrogate)

About Us

Welcome to new members and prospective members of Preston Gilbert & Sullivan Society. Are you new to G&S? If you already love G&S you will find that performing with us, or helping in other ways to put shows and concerts on, is very, very rewarding – addictive even. If you know little or nothing about G&S, you will find a whole new world of wonderful melodic music, combined with great wit, humour and good natured satire. Either way we hope that you will find that we are a great bunch of very supportive friends – almost like a family in fact! If you already see yourself as a performer, G&S is an excellent way of developing your skills. If you have not thought of yourself as a performer, you will probably be very pleasantly surprised at what you can achieve with us.

Non performing members The Society would particularly like to encourage non-singing members to join. For historical reasons, we have rather become a group of performers, and this tends to put a great deal of pressure on our currently rather small band of helpers for prompt, costume, make up, scenery, lighting, sound, stage management, publicity, transport, ticket and programme sales, bar staffing, making brews, etc. We would really love to see you, even if you think that singing is not for you!

Social Calendar and other activities. The Society endeavours to run a programme of social events alongside the schedule of rehearsals. Preston G&S Society is one of the select set of performing companies that have made the Preston Playhouse a home and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with the working of the Playhouse and developing it as a performing venue for Preston G&S and the other companies using the theatre.

Costs We are a registered charity, seeking year by year to just balance income and expenditure and put a little into reserves against a rainy day. Our annual subscription is £50 and payment can be by instalments. We expect you to buy a score, approximate price £10, for the show or you may be able to borrow a copy from a library or other source. While the Society normally provides the bulk of show costumes and some makeup, we may expect you to provide some costume items, makeup foundation, makeup brushes and similar Items yourself. You will also need to provide yourself with suitable footwear for performing. Non performing members the cost is £25.

For concerts, you will need to provide yourself with ‘black and white’ costume. For men, this is black shoes, jacket and trousers, white shirt and black or coloured bow tie. For women, this is black shoes, long black skirt, white blouse with the Society providing a coloured silk or similar scarf.

For more information please contact: – Membership Secretary Sue 01772 454774



Just click on the button for the poster.

Gondoliers Poster


2018 Production - The Gondoliers

Gondoliers Flyer

ACT I The Piazetta, Venice (Date, 1750)

The two Gondoliers, Marco and Giuseppe, are so handsome and have such winning ways that they have completely turned the heads of the pretty contadine. Marco and Giuseppe are nonplussed as to whom to choose as their brides. They decide to solve the problem by allowing themselves to be blindfolded, whilst the contadine and their superfluous gondolier admirers dance round Marco and Giuseppe. In the ensuing game Marco catches Gianetta, and Giuseppe, Tessa. The remaining contadine accept their fate and pair off with the previously ignored gondolieri. They all run off merrily to get married.

As they disappear a gondola stops before the steps of the Piazetta. From it emerge the Duke and Duchess of Plaza-Toro, their daughter Casilda and their suite, consisting of "His Grace's private drum," Luiz. They are dressed as befits their noble station, but their clothes are a little the worse for wear. They have brought their daughter Casilda from Spain. The Duke demands an audience with Don Alhambra, the Grand Inquisitor.

While Luiz is on the errand the Duke reveals to Casilda that when she was a six-months-old babe she was married by proxy to the infant son of the wealthy King of Barataria. The King of Barataria subsequently became a Wesleyan Methodist of a most bigoted and persecuting type. The Grand Inquisitor, determined that such an innovation should not be perpetuated in Barataria, stole the youthful heir to the throne and conveyed him to Venice. A fortnight later the Barataria King and his Court were all killed in an insurrection.

Casilda, therefore, is now Queen of Barataria. But the whereabouts of the new King is not definitely known. Casilda, unfortunately, is in love with someone else--her father's "private drum," Luiz--and they are both despondent at the sad thought of what the future must bring.

Don Alhambra, the Grand Inquisitor, who now approaches and is introduced to Casilda, explains that when he stole the youthful Prince of Barataria, he brought him to Venice and placed him in the family of a highly respectable Gondolier, who had a son of the same age. The Gondolier, through a fondness for drinking, muddled up the two children, and when the Inquisitor went to fetch the Royal Child he found it impossible to tell which was which. This news is received rather philosophically The only person who can possibly tell is the foster mother of the Prince, Inez (who is Luiz' mother) . Luiz is sent to fetch her.

Giuseppe and Marco now return with their new-wed wives. Don Alhambra (whom at first they mistake for an undertaker) informs them that either Giuseppe or Marco is the King of Barataria, and that until the mystery is unravelled they must take up the reins of government as one individual. They may take all their friends with them--all, that is, except the ladies, who must stay behind. This is rather a blow, but they are assured that the separation will be only for a short period. A boat is then brought, and the Gondoliers clamber aboard with Giuseppe and Marco, whilst the contadine wave a tearful farewell.

ACT II A Pavilion in the Court of Barataria (Three Months Later)

Both Marco and Giuseppe, when they were Gondoliers, had ideas on Republican government, and they have reorganized the state on their idealistic principles. The result is somewhat chaotic, but they seem to enjoy it, and as the act opens they are seen cleaning the royal crown and sceptre whilst they sit, clad in magnificent robes, on the royal throne. If they want anything done they have to do it themselves. In a delightful little song, "Of happiness the very pith," Giuseppe outlines his day's work as a monarch about the palace. Only one thing is missing, they feel- -it is dull without female society.

Scarcely have they confessed the fact when the contadine run in, led by Fiametta and Vittoria. Curiosity is the cause of the invasion, though they know they were strictly forbidden to come. They are all very excited. Tessa and Gianetta are anxious to know if their husbands have anyone to mend the royal socks, and if it is known yet which of them is to be queen.

In honor of their arrival Giuseppe and Marco announce a grand banquet and dance. In the middle of a brilliant cachucha there is an unexpected interruption. Don Alhambra enters. He is astonished at the scene, and tries, by quoting an example, to explain where their theories of government are wrong.

He announces the arrival of Casilda. One of them, he says, Marco or Giuseppe (whichever is the real King of Barataria), is married to the beautiful Casilda, and is, of course, an unintentional bigamist if he has married a contadina in the meantime. Poor Tessa and Gianetta are very upset. By the light of this new exposure, one of them is married and one of them is not. But they cannot tell which it is. They burst into tears.

Meanwhile Casilda is afraid that she will never learn to love her husband. The Duchess is firm. "I loved your father," she says, and proceeds to explain how she married and "tamed" him. The Duke has turned his social prestige to account and has become a limited company. His daughter feels that there is hope that when the King sees what a shady family he has married into he will refuse to recognize the alliance. Both the Duke and the Duchess repudiate the statement that their transactions are shady in a delightful duet, "To help unhappy commoners".

Marco and Giuseppe explain the state of the country and the attitude of their subjects towards them. The Duke, in the famous Gavotte, "I am a courtier," instructs them on the correct demeanor of a king, which they try, very awkwardly, to adopt. Marco and Giuseppe are tactfully left alone with Casilda, but Gianetta and Tessa come in, and they all discuss the highly complicated problem of exactly who is married and who is not.

They are interrupted by Don Alhambra, who enters, accompanied by the Duke and Duchess and all the court of Barataria. Inez, the foster-mother of the Prince has been found. She alone can unravel the mystery. Inez is brought forward. She confesses that when she took care of the royal prince, and there was an attempt to steal the child, she substituted her own little boy. The traitorous bands never knew the difference, and the child she slyly called her "son" is none other than the King of Barataria.

Luiz is, therefore, the King. Casilda and Luiz are reunited, and everything ends happily, much to the secret relief of Marco and Giuseppe. [Plot summary from the book The Victor Book of the Opera, RCA Manufacturing Co., Camden, NJ, 1936.]


Noda Reviews

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mikado flyer

The Mikado—Preston Gilbert and Sullivan Society- 10.3.2017

This Operetta has proved to be a very popular choice for Preston Gilbert and Sullivan Society, judging by the full houses at The Playhouse this week. It was encouraging to see a wide range of ages in the audience and also to see many members from other societies supporting this genre. The specially invited orchestra, with Musical Director, Robin Stopford and Leader, Tracey Johnson captured the mood and atmosphere as they played the overture. The sound balance between orchestra and cast was first class throughout.

The curtain opened to reveal a brightly lit, colourful and dramatic set which provided the backdrop for the strong opening chorus of “ “Gentlemen of Japan”, in monochrome costumes and white make up with red fans to enhance the effect. We were instantly gripped and entertained and this continued until the final chorus. The experienced Lynne Nolan, Choreographer, had stamped her own style on the production and created innovative and imaginative movements bringing a freshness of approach to the whole piece. It was obvious that she had put both male and female chorus through their paces to create very good, slick and accurate movements, especially when using their fans.

Philip Walsh, Director had used all his vast experience of G & S to give us a polished and well- paced production. There were no weak links with all on stage playing their roles with skill and confidence. It was encouraging to see that previous newcomer to this genre, Daltrey Wrigley, was now Playing Nanki-Poo which is his first Principal Tenor role but it will certainly not be his last. He will be widely sought after by many companies, not only because of his lovely singing voice but also his understanding of the humour and exaggerations in G & S Operettas.

The experienced Robert Feeley was perfectly cast as Ko- Ko and he brought out all the little nuances of the character and showed lovely contrasting emotions. His sensitive performance of “ Tit Willow “ was one of the best I have ever seen.

Andrew Lyons as Poo- Bah commanded the stage at all times and delivered his lines with perfect comic timing again showing his considerable experience in the G & S Operettas.

The three wards of Ko- Ko, Yum-Yum, Peep-Bo and Pitti-Sing, Amy Louise Hardy, Keeley Lund and Debbie Brotherton harmonized beautifully and never faltered. I was not sure however about the choice of the modern looking wigs. The blonde and auburn wigs looked out of place and appeared very artificial.

Martin Cassell as Pish-Tush gave a splendid, measured performance and it was a pleasure to hear his lovely Baritone voice. Elaine McNicol as Katisha was outstanding. I have seen “The Mikado” many times and I have never seen this role bettered whilst Anthony Alman in the title role of The Mikado was an innovative interpretation which he played well.

Both male and female choruses were excellent, always in character. They looked splendid in their striking outfits they wore and make up by Bryony Forrest ensured the finished effect was just right. Costumes for all on stage were quite outstanding and all involved should be congratulated. This was a memorable night of Theatre and I look forward to the Company’s next production. Thank you so much for your very warm welcome to my wife and myself.

ruddigore flyer

Ruddigore — Preston Gilbert and Sullivan Society- 8.3.2018

Author: Eddie Regan

Ruddigore or the Witch’s Curse was the ninth of fourteen comic operettas written by Gilbert and Sullivan and it has seen many changes and alterations since 1887.Following the end of copyright restrictions in 1963, companies have been able to restore material and also put their own spin on various aspects of topical interest.The specially invited Orchestra, after an untidy opening, treated us to a rousing version of the Overture to this piece.

The curtains opened to a well constructed, designed set with the addition of a bollard to be used for tying up boats but this one had the word Fishergate painted on it. The opening chorus of Bridesmaids entered through the auditorium distributing business cards printed with the words “Bridesmaids for Hire”. The address on the cards was Zora and Ruth, Fishergate Cottage and from that moment we became aware that this would be a Production, very much, “ tongue in cheek”.Director, Philip Walsh and Producer, Sue Hurrell, together with Musical Director, Merle Winstanley and Choreographer, Jade Milner had clearly put many hours of rehearsals into this production. Jane Milner’s Choreography was imaginative and it certainly enhanced the performances of both Principals and Ensemble. Projection and Diction were particularly good in the dialogue but sadly enunciation was lacking in many of the musical numbers.

The Act 2 Set was spectacular, depicting the Family Picture Gallery and the Ancestor’s costumes and lighting effects drew applause from the audience.

There were some excellent performances from some of the Principal Characters.Rowena Perry as Mad Margaret gave a sensitive and original portrayal and as she entered for her first appearance she knocked over the aforementioned bollard with her pram, much to the delight of the audience. This was a local reference to a recent happening in Preston.Angela Lee as Dame Hannah gave a flawless performance, showing her experience and complete understanding of the role.

I enjoyed David Twizell’s performance as Old Adam Goodheart. He has a splendid voice, both spoken and musical and he certainly appeared to be enjoying the character.

Amy Louise Hardy reprised her role as the demure Rose Maybud and played her part with confidence especially when being wooed by Robin Oakapple, Robert Feeley and Richard Dauntless, Peter Bowden who both showed their vast experience.

All in the Production, were impeccably dressed and this together with very good lighting and sound helped to provide a very enjoyable evening. Many visiting G. & S. Societies were in the audience tonight and appeared to have enjoyed their visit, as did my wife and myself. Thank you for your warm welcome.