Swaffham Bulbeck Summer Theatre
Since its premiere in 1885 at the Savoy Theatre in London, The Mikado (or The Town of Titipu) has become one of the most-performed pieces of musical theatre in history.
As with many of Gilbert and Sullivan’s productions, the show satirizes aspects of Victorian Britain’s politics and aristocracy; in The Mikado, however, the duo cleverly cloaked these criticisms behind a charming story set not in Britain, but in exotic Japan.
Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado (the Japanese emperor), has fled in disguise to avoid marrying a much older suitor, and to find and marry his own beloved, the beautiful Yum-Yum. Yum-Yum, however, is the ward of Ko-Ko, the lord high executioner, and has become betrothed to him against her will.
In the meantime, Ko-Ko finds his job difficult to carry out as the Mikado puts pressure on him to fulfill his quota of killings, but the executioner realizes he is too soft-hearted to kill anyone. His solution is to trade a month of marriage to Yum-Yum for Nanki-Poo’s life (though he only pretends to kill him), but, of course, the plan backfires as Ko-Ko finds himself subject to capital punishment for allegedly killing the Mikado’s son.
As usual in Gilbert’s imaginative plots, the tangled web unravels, and everyone lives happily ever after. This complex satire is characterized by the clever wordplay, memorable tunes, and endearing characters that have allowed Gilbert and Sullivan’s popularity with audiences to endure for well over a century.
Wednesday 15th June 2022 7:30 pm (£9)
Thursday 16th June 2022 7:30 pm (£10)
Friday 17th June 2022 7:30 pm (£12)
Saturday 18th June 2022 2:30 pm (£8)
Saturday 18th June 2022 7:30 pm (£12
Stephen has been a life-long singer, debuting as Harry in Albert Herring at 12 – though his early musical interests were as oboist and conductor. He sang regularly in oratorio in the 80s, and then in 1990s appeared at the Mumford as Monostatos (Magic Flute) and Rector (Peter Grimes), at the same time conducting at Bottisham Opera and the Cambridge Youth Orchestra.
Following two-year’s conducting study in St. Petersburg with pedagog Ilya Musin, he returned. He studies singing with John Upperton and Katharina Megli, and has himself been a singing teacher since 1997.
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.
Anna first sang with SBST in 2012 and has enjoyed singing may of the soprano lead roles. She adds to these many opera and musical roles both around Cambridge and further afield. She recently sang Oscar in Verdi’s A Masked Ball and enjoyed taking part in CAOS’s Sweeney Todd. Her favourite roles are Rose Maybud (Ruddigore), Magnolia (Showboat) and Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro).
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.
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
Øistein first became acquainted with Gilbert & Sullivan in 2007, when he played the part of Sir Gilbert Murgatroyd in a university production of Ruddigore.
His first solo part saw him return to the baronetcy, this time as Sir Roderic, in Girton Operatic’s 2015 production.
He also plays the bassoon and played in the orchestra for Gondoliers at The Minack.
This is Jeremy’s first foray into G&S and he is looking forward to having a crack at some Ducal shenanigans. It has been a real pleasure working with SBST especially since he has recently moved to nearby Burwell and it has been a great chance to get to know the neighbours!
Previous roles include being a cockney and a butler in My Fair Lady for CaOS and Moonface Martin in Anything Goes for the Pied Pipers. He also sings baritone for the barbershop acapella group Cambridge Chord Company.
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!
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.
Her other interests include composing music, writing poetry in Italian and prose in English, photography, and she loves to escape into a book.
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.
This will be Ruth Dennis’ 21st consecutive G&S show with SBST and her 16th 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.
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.
Angela was introduced to G&S at school, playing clarinet for local shows. She has been involved in all of SBST’s 39 productions and this is her 21st show as Musical Director.
Lynne has sung since she was 10. She has been a Director and performer since 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 is an avid Sheffield United supporter.
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.
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.
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.
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.