Swaffham Bulbeck Summer Theatre
Princess Ida (Castle Adamant)
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
He has no previous experience, but sang in the church choir before going to University.
Church bellringing exercises his small brain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As a newbee to the group she is really enjoying rehearsals and very much looking forward to the show.
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.
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.
Set Design and Set Painting
Set Design and Set Painting
Draperies and Props
Make Up Team Manager
Make Up Team Manager
Gerard and Margaret Chadwick
Business & Publicity Manager
Kay and George Ballard
Draperies and Props
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!
50th Cambridge (Milton and Landbeach) Scout group
Burwell Community Print
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.