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

Production Team

Peter Bullen

Production Manager

David Hincks

Stage Manager

Lynne Bullen


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.

Diane Hincks


Natasha Flores

Set Design

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.

Mary Smith

Draperies and Props

David Stubbings


Jo Charlesworth

Make Up Team Manager

Jean Watts

Chief Steward

Gerard and Margaret Chadwick

Licensed Bar

John Latham

Production Crew & Publicity

Kay Ballard

Auditorium Decor

Simon Andrews

Poster Design

Jonathan Giles


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.

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