Stamford G&S Players - IOLANTHE
The Fairies


Exactly 137 years ago, on the 10th October 1881, the original Patience moved from The Opéra Comique to the brand-new Savoy Theatre recently built by Richard D’Oyly Carte.

The first theatre in Britain to be lit by electric light, with 38 incandescent lamps placed around auditorium set in action, the gas was at once extinguished and a blaze of illumination proclaimed ‘the light of the future!’

Our Players are keenly aware that in order to keep Gilbert and Sullivan alive for the future enjoyment of those who love it, it is vital to involve as many youngsters in our shows as we can. We have been fortunate in the past to have worked with The Welland School of Dance, and this year we welcome yet more youngsters to our fold.

They are indeed ‘the light of the future’ and they bring a breath of fresh air and vitality to the wealth of experience and talent already on stage.

Rehearsals for Patience have proved to be great fun and there is a particularly wonderful spirit in the company this year, which I do hope you feel in the audience tonight.

After playing the society’s usual lead soprano for many years, it has been a privilege to step up and lead this very special group in my directorial debut.  They have been an absolute pleasure to work with and I thank them all so much for their Patience and support!

So, with ‘the light of the future’ firmly in our minds, I warmly welcome you to Stamford Gilbert and Sullivan’s traditional production of Patience – opening as seems entirely appropriate 137 years later, on the very same date, the 10th October 2018!

        The question is……………who will be Bunthorne’s bride?




Picture the scene on the opening night of Iolanthe back in November 1882…. The new electric lamps, the sparkle of diamonds, the starchy sheen of dress shirts, the creamy shoulders of celebrated beauties, and the leaders of fashion, art and the sciences all waiting in anticipation for the performance to begin!

Iolanthe, known as the, ‘Fairy Opera’ is considered to be one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s satirical masterpieces. This tale of fairy folk and magical mayhem has entranced audiences since it was first performed and tells the story of a shepherd boy’s attempt (with the aid of some feisty fairies) to overthrow the privileges enjoyed by the nobility.

Fantastically funny and still incredibly relevant, it continues to appeal to theatre going crowds, with a recent English National Opera production proving to be a sell-out success at London’s Coliseum.

Laughter, drama, and mystical mix-ups, along with a compelling love story, make Iolanthe a captivating tale of fairies and humans coming together to create a riot of colour and sound.

I hope that with my little nods to that original opening night, from the glorious pomp and circumstance of the celebrated Peers chorus and the haunting sadness of the persistent musical call of Iolanthe, the dreamy opening tableau and the twinkling star lights in the fairies’ hair… we can weave our magical spell over you in our enchanted and mystical fairy world this evening.

We are proud to say, that half our Principal characters this year are made up of some wonderful and enthusiastic local youngsters, supported by the very talented and accomplished soloists you already know. Our brilliant chorus and Gavin’s wonderful orchestra, charming sets, exciting lighting and stunning costumes make this glittering production of Iolanthe the perfect antidote to Brexit!

So, with a sprinkling of fairy dust, let our wands, and the words and music of Gilbert & Sullivan come to life!

Beloved and beautiful, the immortal Iolanthe has broken a fairy law by marrying a human. She is banished from fairyland by her Queen on the condition that she never sees her husband again.

Twenty-five years later these two worlds collide, as her Son Strephon (who is half a fairy), plans to marry the pretty Shepherdess Phyllis, a ward of The Lord Chancellor and loved by every Peer in The House of Lords. Strephon attempts, (with the help of some feisty fairies), to overthrow the privileges enjoyed by the nobility, and much laughter, drama and mystical mix ups happen along the way!

Stamford G&S Players – Iolanthe 2019