Swaffham Bulbeck Summer Theatre

The Grand Duke

The Grand Duke, or The Statutory Duel opened on March 7, 1896 at the Savoy Theatre, London. This last G&S opera ran for only 123 performances.

In the Grand Duke, Gilbert and Sullivan come full circle, back to the theme of their first collaboration: A troupe of actors takes political power. The Grand Duke suffers from many of the same problems as Utopia Limited — it has a long and rambling libretto — and it calls for more principal quality voices than the typical G&S opera. Nevertheless, the story contains a number of hilarious moments and funny characters, the settings are colourful and the music is cheery and flavourful. Some find this opera to be the most underrated of the G&S works.

Ludwig, an actor, replaces the company manager, Ernest, and then he replaces the miserly Grand Duke Rudolph of Pfennig Halbpfennig, after “killing” each of them by drawing the ace from a deck of cards in two “statutory” duels. By winning the statutory duels, Ludwig assumes all of Ernest’s and Rudolph’s rights and obligations. Soon he finds himself with far more wives, and prospective wives, than he knows what to do with. Never fear: once again, a lawyer solves the problem and all ends happily.

Grand Duke Show Dates

12th June 2019, 7:30pm
13th June 2019, 7:30pm
14th June 2019, 7:30pm
15th June 2019, 2:30pm (matinee)
15th June 2019, 7:30pm

The Grand Duke – Cast List

Angela Roebuck

Musical Director

Lynne Bullen



William Hale


Anna Murgatroyd


Lizzy East


Gavin Jarvis

Rudolph Grand Duke

Jeremy Lander


Sally Goldsmith


Tim Winn

Prince of Monte Carlo

Øistein Andersen


Caille Peri


Geoff Reed


Elizabeth Rossi


Liz Herrington


Ruth Dennis


Victoria Olphin


Steve Aronson


Owen Johnson

Additional Information

View rehearsal schedule