Swaffham Bulbeck Summer Theatre

Princess Ida (Castle Adamant)

Synopsis

A hilarious twist on a traditional medieval fairy tale!

Prince Hilarion has been waiting for his wedding day to Princess Ida ( to whom he was betrothed in infancy) for twenty years.

Unfortunately, Princess Ida has decided that she does not want to honour the commitment and has instead, gone off and started a women’s college.

But Hilarion does not give up hope! In an attempt to woo her, Hilarion, accompanied by his friends, Cyril and Florian, dresses up as a maiden and sneaks into Castle Adamant.

Inside the castle, the “maidens” are discovered by Lady Psyche – Florian’s sister, Lady Blanche and her daughter Melissa. Lady Psyche and Melissa attempt to keep their knowledge from Ida, but eventually she discovers and apprehends the intruders.

It looks like violence is sure to erupt, but Ida finally relinquishes and agrees to marry Hilarion.

“The Swaffham Bulbeck Summer Theatre’s annual productions are strong in all areas with outstanding efforts from all involved. This was certainly an entertaining production which had something for everyone.”

Julie Petrucci

Regional Representative NODA East District Four South

Angela Roebuck

Musical Director

Angela Roebuck Close
Having previously cut her teeth for G&S by playing the clarinet for a handful shows in the orchestral pit in Watford and Wimbledon, Angela Roebuck has since been involved in all SBST’s 37 productions. Primarily she was the main repetiteur and then a clarinettist for the performances. There was an exception in 1991 for The Mikado when the availability of a second repetiteur meant she was able to experience being on stage in the chorus (and the glamour of a white face!).She became the third musical director for SBST in 1999 for The Sorcerer. Angela is very much looking forward to Princess Ida not just for its excellent music and working with the brilliant performers and musicians taking part this year, but also as it will mean she will have then directed all 14 of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Operettas in Swaffham Bulbeck.

Angela Roebuck

Musical Director

Lynne Bullen

Director

Lynne Bullen Close
Lynne has sung since she was 10. She has been Director and performer since SBST began except for the very first one in 1982. She has been involved with Shelford Opera group and also Cambridge Operatic Society, serving as Chair and committee member for both groups. She has also directed several G&S operas at Shelford. Lynne loves narrow boating and visiting her son in New Zealand. She hates people who don’t use their indicators whilst driving and who also drive with defective lights. She is an avid Sheffield United supporter.

Lynne Bullen

Director

Cast List

King Hildebrand

Gerard Chadwick

Gerard Chadwick Close
Gerard has lived in Swaffham Bulbeck since 1980. He had a principal role in all our productions for the first 30 years. Since 2012 he has alternated between performing on stage and behind the bar. Our shows prompted a wider interest in singing and he has appeared in numerous operas from Monteverdi to Britten as well as concerts and choral works.
More recently he has been seen in the comedies and farces put on each year by the Swaffham Bulbeck St Mary’s Players.
Beyond amateur dramatics Gerard’s main interests are church bellringing (another form of noisy public performance) and restoring old houses. Plumbing is a particular delight (oh, the bliss when water comes out of the taps and nowhere else).
Gerard is survived by a wife and two children (both of whom have, for no reason clear to him, left home).

King Hildebrand

Gerard Chadwick

Hilarion

Gavin Jarvis

Gavin Jarvis Close
Gavin’s first appearance in a G&S performance was as Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore for CaOS in November 2005. He has performed with SBST since 2010, appearing as the Defendant in Trial by Jury; Dick Dauntless in Ruddigore; Grosvenor in Patience; Marco in Gondoliers and; Frederic in Pirates of Penzance.
His favourite G&S role is Nanki-Poo in The Mikado because of the lovely music from Sullivan and the wonderful libretto from Gilbert.
Gavin has also performed with Southgate Opera, Opera Holland Park, Belfast Operatic Company and Red Earth Opera in Devon.
When he isn’t performing, he enjoys playing the guitar. He likes Buffy the Vampire Slayer and dislikes cauliflower.

Hilarion

Gavin Jarvis

Cyril

William Hale

William Hale Close
William inherited the G&S gene from his grandmother, and first appeared as 10th Gondolier in a student production in the Oxford Playhouse in 1988. He joined SBST in 2008 to play Leonard Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard, and has appeared in every show bar one since then in tenor or baritone roles.
William also performs with Pied Pipers and Cambridge Operatic Society (of which he is currently Secretary) in Cambridge, and sings with choirs of all shapes and sizes all over the country.
His ultimate G&S ambition is to appear as Box (or Cox) in Sullivan’s first (and, he thinks, best) operetta, Cox and Box.

Cyril

William Hale

Florian

Tim Winn

Tim Winn Close
Tim has been involved with amateur groups in and around Cambridge for a number of years. He has performed with SBST several times, most recently in 2015 as Luiz in The Gondoliers and as Strephon in Iolanthe back in 2012.
Tim has also performed in South Pacific (as Luther Billis), The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, and The Magic Flute with Cambridge Operatic Society and last summer he was seen in Cambridge Theatre Companies production of Spamalot at the ADC Theatre.
When not on stage, Tim can be often found photographing productions, having done production photography for Festival Players, Cambridge Operatic Society and Pied Pipers.
In real life Tim teaches Art & Art History at a local Sixth Form College.

Florian

Tim Winn

King Gama

Geoff Reed

Geoff Reed Close
Geoff Reed was co-founder of SBST in 1981, having settled in Swaffham Bulbeck in 1981 to become a consultant after a peripatetic life as a civil engineer.His acting career began with a small part in ‘Merchant of Venice’ and then ‘The Gondoliers’ when an expat. in Zambia in 1971. He then continued with West Norfolk G&S Operatic Society in King’s Lynn, moving into directing with ‘Iolanthe’ with Dubai & Sharjah Singers in 1977. This continued with SBST, culminating with Ruddigore in 2013, having directed most of the operas, including ‘Utopia Ltd’ and one of his favourites ‘The Grand Duke’.He has also regularly performed in bass principal and chorus roles since 1980 at Cambridge Arts Theatre with CaOS, most recently in ‘Annie’ in 2017.His favourite character role is ‘Dick Deadeye’ in ‘HMS Pinafore’ who, despite being cast as a grumpy old spoiler, is the only sane person in the whole ship’s company!Geoff likes to be busy and social, his other main interest being church bell-ringing, which is both physically and mentally stimulating, all coupled with the odd beer afterwards of course.

King Gama

Geoff Reed

Arac

John Yates

John Yates Close
John has been involved with G&S productions over 40 years although this has not been continuous. This will be his 4th show with SBST.
His favourite role is the Judge in “Trial by Jury” as it is a great part with lots of great songs and no lines to learn!
John has previously worked with East Herts Operatic Society and Ware Operatic society. He played second Oboe with Harlow Symphony Orchestra for 3 years.
John loves playing music and all racket sports, and hates it when he loses his squash matches. He also likes meeting people from different walks of life and discussing their life stories.

Arac

John Yates

Guron

Owen Johnson

Owen Johnson Close
Pirates of Penzance in 2016 was Owen’s first show with SBST, and his first time ever on a stage.
He has no previous experience, but sang in the church choir before going to University.
Church bellringing exercises his small brain.

Guron

Owen Johnson

Scynthius

Steve Aronson

Steve Aronson Close
Steve first started with SBST in 2012 in the chorus of Iolanthe although he had to miss the performances due to the untimely passing away of his father. Since then he has played the Duke in Patience and Francesco in Gondoliers.
He has also performed with Girton Operatic as Richard Dauntless in Ruddigore, Alexis in The Sorcerer and recently once more as the Duke in Patience. The latter is his favourite role as he is so outrageous and gets to say and do things he would never consider in real life. Steven also sings with Cantilena Choir and Kol Echad, which specialises in Jewish music.
His other hobbies include karate, scuba diving, cooking, travel and he speaks seven languages.
He is a chiropractor in his day job using a gentle method to treat both humans and animals with pain anywhere in the body.

Scynthius

Steve Aronson

Princess Ida

Caille Peri

Caille Peri Close
Caille has been involved with G&S since birth – it’s in her blood. One of her parent’s first dates was The Mikado so even before she was conceived – she’s never been without it!
Princess Ida is Caille’s 9th performance with SBST. Her favourite characters are the Fairy Queen, Angelina, Gianetta, and Princess Ida. Each has something of the dramatic, the ironic, and an aria that takes a piece of her soul with it.
Caille also performs with Lanwades Hall Players, Cantilena Singers, Pied Pipers, and Cambridge University G&S society.
Caille danced Swan Lake on Tap – a shortened version of the ballet – only the whole thing was tap dance à là ballet! She’s danced and done choreography as long as she’s performed singing on stage – since she was 4.
Her other interests include composing music, writing poetry in Italian and prose in English, photography, and she loves to escape into a book.

Princess Ida

Caille Peri

Lady Blanche

Sally Goldsmith

Sally Goldsmith Close
Sally caught the G&S bug at the early age of 14 in school productions and it never went away; being followed by performances with Ipswich G&S, Framlingham Choral Society, BSEAODS in Bury St Edmunds and now SBST – where she has sung for the last 3 years. Her favourite character is usually the one she’s playing currently – but she has a sneaking feeling the tenors always get the best songs. When not singing or acting, Sally enjoys cycling, walking, sailing, reading and painting (badly). She is a frustrated dog owner – with the personal ambition of finding a scruffy mutt to rescue and rehome as soon as possible.
She likes dry humour, dry martini, and dry balmy days on the coast.
She dislikes camping, commuting and other drivers who forget what their indicators are for.

Lady Blanche

Sally Goldsmith

Lady Psyche

Sian Dowson

Sian Dowson Close
Sian has been singing G&S since she was 11, when she joined the Hornby Occasionals. She got first principal role when she was 13, – playing Celia in Iolanthe – which was also the first part she played with SBST when she joined in 2011. She’s played some lovely parts over the years, but Lady Psyche is definitely her favourite. She’s funny and clever and she says she’s a “small phenomenon” which, as a 5 foot nothing woman, definitely resonates!
Outside of G&S, Sian spends her time reading, playing board games and making things. She also loves travelling, particularly to cold places, and has been to Iceland, Denmark and Norway, where she and her husband saw the Northern Lights on their honeymoon.

Lady Psyche

Sian Dowson

Melissa

Lizzie East

Lizzie East Close
Lizzie has been involved in G&S for several years performing in Pirates of Penzance and Yeoman of the Guard at the Royal Northern College of Music. This is her SBST debut playing the role of Melissa in Princess Ida. Her hobbies include singing, running and spending time with friends and family. She has recently got a puppy called Bengy who she is besotted with. She dreams to perform on stage at La Scala.
As a newbee to the group she is really enjoying rehearsals and very much looking forward to the show.

Melissa

Lizzie East

Sacharissa

Helen Bryant

Helen Bryant Close
Helen has been involved with G&S for 14 years; she started in 2003 with HMS Pinafore. This is her second show with SBST. Her favourite G&S character is Phoebe in Yeoman of the Guard. She’s feisty and has some wonderful things to sing.
Helen has regularly performed with Peak Opera at the annual International G&S Festival. This year she will be doing Pirates. She will also be performing with Coventry G&S Society – HMS Pinafore; STAMPS in Solihull – Iolanthe (Leila) and My Fair Lady; SMASH in Solihull – Guys and Dolls (Adelaide) and Peter Pan (Mrs. Darling). She has previously performed with St Andrews G&S Society in Monkseaton.
Her other hobbies include cross stitch and gin drinking. She likes Narnia, to a slightly obsessive degree. In fact she wishes she lived there (during the Golden Age). She dislikes snakes because they’re evil.

Sacharissa

Helen Bryant

Chloe

Ruth Dennis

Ruth Dennis Close
This will be Ruth’s twentieth consecutive G&S show with SBST and her fifteenth as Business Manager. Her favourite show is Iolanthe, because she loves playing a fairy (and the music is gorgeous)!
Ruth also sings with St. Mary’s Singers in Swaffham Bulbeck and The Kitchen Choir in Stetchworth.
When she was six or seven the music teacher at her primary school, Mr. Hannaford, said he did not want her in the school choir as her voice was so bad. Fortunately (she hopes!) it has improved over the years.
She likes cow parsley growing everywhere in the spring and dislikes car drivers who tailgate her when she is driving at the speed limit.

Chloe

Ruth Dennis

Production Team

Peter Bullen

Production Manager

David Hincks

Stage Manager

Lynne Bullen

Director

Lynne Bullen Close
Lynne Bullen has sung since she was 10. She has been Director and performer since SBST began except for the very first one in 1981. She has been involved with Shelford Opera group and also Cambridge Operatic Society, serving as Chair and committee member for both groups. She has also directed several G and S operas at Shelford.Lynne loves narrow boating and visiting her son in New Zealand.She hates people who don’t use their indicators whilst driving and who also drive with defective lights.She is an avid Sheffield United supporter.

Lynne Bullen

Costumes

Diane Hincks

Properties

Natasha Flores

Set Design and Set Painting

Natasha Flores Close
Natasha has been involved with the scenery production for SBST and (excluding 2013) a member of the chorus since 2012. Throughout her school years and for a while after, art and music played a significant role, but then took a back seat until 2010 when Natasha rediscovered her love of all things creative and musical: returning to class to study art and design, taking up dancing as a hobby and subsequently joining SBST. Since her involvement in the production of the scenery and, bearing in mind her extreme fear of heights, Natasha’s assessment of each operetta is based on how much high level painting is involved. The Pirates of Penzance is her definite favourite so far.

Natasha Flores

Set Design and Set Painting

Mary Smith

Draperies and Props

David Stubbings

Lighting

Annalise Jones

Make Up Team Manager

Annalise Joness Close
Annalise has been living in Swaffham Bulbeck for 29 years and has been doing the make-up for the show for 28 years. She started doing the makeup to help Carol Turner, then when she retired Annalise took over the makeup box. Her husband, Rhiddian took part in as many productions as he could. She has found it great fun over the years, with three different venues and a lot of memories.

Annalise Jones

Make Up Team Manager

Christine Bryant

Steward Manager

Gerard and Margaret Chadwick

Licensed Bar

Ruth Dennis

Business Manager

Ruth Dennis Close
This will be Ruth Dennis’ twentieth consecutive G&S show with SBST and her fifteenth as Business Manager.Her favourite show is Iolanthe, because she loves playing a fairy (and the music is gorgeous)!Ruth also sings with St. Mary’s Singers in Swaffham Bulbeck and The Kitchen Choir in Stetchworth.’Interesting’ fact – when she was six or seven the music teacher at her primary school, Mr. Hannaford, said he did not want her in the school choir as her voice was so bad. Fortunately (she hopes!) it has improved over the years.Like – cow parsley growing everywhere in the spring. Dislike – car drivers who tailgate me when she is driving at the speed limit.

Ruth Dennis

Business & Publicity Manager

Kay and George Ballard

Auditorium Decor

Simon Andrews

Poster Design

Mary Smith

Draperies and Props

Jonathan Giles

Repetiteur

Jonathan Giles Close

Princess Ida will be Jonathan’s second SBST production and the first where he was involved in live performances. Having accompanied Pirates during rehearsals last year, he is enjoying Princess Ida as a more mature work by Sullivan – alongside the trademark G&S characteristics are some musical sequences that could have been written by a much earlier classical composer.Performing G&S is rather different from his other musical preoccupations: apart from being responsible for the music (including directing the Choir) in Burwell Parish Church, he accompanies Cantilena at some of their concerts and also D’Musica Reach, a choir for people living with dementia and their carers. Being an accompanist is a very good discipline for an organist who might otherwise be prone to meglomania with the loudest instrument in the building at his disposal!Jonathan enjoys being involved as our early hesitant notes and steps evolve into an exciting and polished production – his main regret is that he generally misses the best comedy moments as he is watching the music and the conductor rather than the stage.

Jonathan Giles

Repetiteur

Geoffrey Datson

Repetiteur

Geoffrey Datson Close
Geoffrey joined SBST in 1991 and was in the chorus for all productions until the move to Downing Farm since when he has accompanied some rehearsals each year. He was also Business Manager from 1991 until Ruth took over.
Geoffrey’s wife, Anne, sang most of the contralto principal roles and produced a number of shows over the same period.
Earlier they were members of the Bottisham Village College Operatic Society and sang in opera there and at the Arts Theatre – highlights included Eugene Onegin and Cavalleria Rusticana.
Now Anne produces and Geoffrey takes part in the plays put on in the village each February.
His other interests include travel, playing bridge, bread making, philately and being a Governor of the Primary School for about 25 years!

Geoffrey Datson

Repetiteur

50th Cambridge (Milton and Landbeach) Scout group

Marquees

Burwell Community Print

Programme Printing

Plus Many More!!

Princess IDA – NODA Review

By Julie Petrucci
Regional Representative NODA East District Four South 

‘Princess Ida’ is new to me. One of the lesser known Savoy operas by Gilbert and Sullivan it satirises Victorian society’s preoccupation with women’s education.

Unusually this operetta is split into three acts. Set in vaguely medieval times, it tells of Princess Ida, daughter of King Gama, who has been betrothed since infancy to Prince Hilarion, son of King Hildebrand. The operetta opens in Hildebrand’s castle, and is standard G&S, with laughs, puns and lively tunes. It gives plenty of space for frivolity and entertainment as Hildebrand sets out his stall, complete with the promise of battle if Ida doesn’t show up. The likelihood of battle only increases with the arrival of Ida’s trio of warrior brothers and then King Gama himself. The problem for Hilarion’s marriage intentions is that Ida has not only taken up philosophy but has foresworn the company of men and set up a female-only college at Castle Adamant which she has no intention of leaving – let alone to get married. While the two kings and the brothers want to slug it out, Hilarion and his pals Cyril and Florian are rather more taken with the idea of a castle full of maidens. They set off to Adamant intent of changing Ida’s heart with love alone.

Acts two and three are set in Castle Adamant where ladies are being expelled for the heinous crime of bringing in a set of chessmen and a power struggle appears to be in progress between Principal Princes Ida and her number two Lady Blanche. Meanwhile Hilarion and his chums sneak into the castle and dress up as maidens. Of course they are discovered. However, when King Hildebrand and his soldiers and King Gamma and his sons also arrive it looks like becoming violent. Ida though concocts a plan for a hockey stick war coupled with eye-flashing and sharp words – not something the other women are keen on! Naturally
there is a happy ending.

Musical Director Angela Roebuck lead a tuneful and well-balanced orchestra who did full justice to Sullivan’s music. After a sprightly overture we enjoyed some memorable and wonderfully tuneful numbers which showed Sullivan at his best. The Finale to Act 1 was particularly good with the chorus singing superbly. The rest of the opera is vintage G&S with numbers including several arias and duets. Although Gilbert’s rather silly plot is not one of his best the performances more than made up for it.

The production was a bit static, but this was largely because so many of the chorus were on stage for so much of the time. However, Director Lynne Bullen created some good groupings ensuring strong visual staging enhanced by the superb costuming for which she was also responsible. I should also commend the super lighting by David Stubbings and his team and the excellent make-up, particularly for King Gama.

Gerard Chadwick was in top form as King Hildebrand as was Geoff Reed as this show’s “patter-man” the misanthropic King Gama: proving with “If You Give Me Your Attention” he was indeed “a disagreeable man.” Gavin Jarvis incomparable as Hilarion was in extremely fine voice and, together with his companions Cyril (William Hale) and Florian (Tim Winn), created a brilliant team. This triumvirate brought out every ounce of the humour in their roles. Castle Adamant (“Gently, Gently”) and dressing up as maidens was very funny. Three excellent performances.

I felt for Gamma’s three warrior sons John Yates (Arac), Owen Johnson (Guron), Steven Aronson (Scynthius) who were called upon to move and sing in what appeared to be full metal armour on a very hot evening. However they managed admirably.

The title role was in the extremely safe and skilful hands of Caille Peri she was wonderfully imperious and her opening aria, Minerva! Oh hear me was superb. Sally Goldsmith was also in splendid form as Lady Blanche, the lecturer on abstract philosophies and perpetrator of many convoluted conundrums which she enunciated superbly. Sian Dowson was in equally fine of voice as Lady Psyche, the humanities professor. Both ensured that the internal politics of Castle Adamant are well brought out. Lizzy East was impressive as Lady Blanche’s daughter, who falls for Florian. There was solid support throughout the chorus, with Helen Bryant and Ruth Dennis adding strong voices in minor named roles.

Accolades though must go not just to the wonderful performances and musicians but also to the team who create the auditorium in the barn at Downing Farm. Attention is paid not just to the excellent stage settings but also decoration front of house. The Swaffham Bulbeck Summer Theatre’s annual productions are strong in all areas with outstanding efforts from all involved. This was certainly an entertaining production which had something for everyone.