So this week I am helping backstage with “Sullivan and Gilbert” at the Palace Theatre in London, which is a play that centres around a rehearsal of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, back in the 1890s with D’Oyly Carte.  I can’t stop singing along to the familiar tunes and remember all the good times I have had with G & S over the years.

Becca and I

Becca and I

HMS Pinafore 1920s Style

HMS Pinafore 1920s Style

For those of you who do not know- there was a long tradition of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas at UWO.  Starting in 1954, a G & S production was put on every year and I was lucky enough to be a part of the final 7 shows, ending with number 55.  Since 7 is the magic number- I thought, “What a perfect post!”

So here are the “Seven G & S Shows I’ve Done”

24_538225110981_7007_n1. Yeoman of the Guard (2003)- this was my first experience with G & S.  Taking place at Talbot Theatre, a lot of DWFOM music students were apart of the show that year- Greg, Pete, Jon, Jackie, Colleen, Eric, Gaby, David Fletcher, Jen, Laura, Heather, Beth, Bonnie, Maria- and those were just the UWO students in Music!  I had an awesome partner in Tom Stevenson (my first Tommy!- keep reading!) and this was truly my first theatre experience.  A great production to be a part of, and I have so many fond memories.  I truly made some great friends, some of my best who I have kept to this day!

ImageMikado 2004

2. The Mikado (2004)– G & S celebrated 50 years with this production and I was so lucky to be a part of it!  Directed by the lovely Liz Van Doorne, this elaborate production was over the top.  A huge cast, with an alumni chorus, an amazing set, with a bridge, huge stairs and buildings, and a beautiful garden and Liz worked us so our fans flipped and our parasols spun in perfect union.  This was a feat- especially since darling, old George Yelland was in the chorus!

ImagePatience 2005

3. Patience (2005)– This is the G & S show that changed my life.  Not only did I make some of my best G & S friends, I really and truly started to become comfortable on stage. The cast of this show was tiny, which allowed/forced us to really grow on the stage.  Serge still talks about “his” amazing idea to walk around like muses from Hercules… lol- doesn’t matter- I still saved the show!  This is the show where Emil, Shannon, Becca and I started to hang out and Jasmine and I became friends!  Also, I started to feel like a real G & Ser.  And George Jolink was dreamy with his beard.  Oh- and Tommy Stewart and I were partners- again!  ”Lovesick Maidens, Hoo Ha!”  And the cast party… one of many at Emil’s!

Image4.  Ruddigore (2006)- This cast was made up of some crazies!  (in a fun sort of way…) Tommy was my partner again!  And I got to be a bridesmaid… again!  Surman, Shan, and Emil and I got even closer and we got to work with Mark Payne.  If you want to sound good, work under this man!  Such a great show, nice and spooky and Chris Wood played up the melodrama of it all.  An awesome final show at Talbot.


5. HMS Pinafore (2006)- 1920’s lingo, by Jingo!  Emil stealing Shan from Moe, Becca and my crazy movie, high notes with Mark Payne, and some awesome old (and new!) friends in this fun production.  I was sad to go from Talbot to the Palace- but the experience of the show made up for the change!Pinafore7


And this is my character in a nutshell…

Image6. Iolanthe (2008)- “We are dainty little fairies!” Again, more fun times with some of my favourite people and Tommy’s partner- again!  My first role (6 whole lines!) and this was the year I had crazy, curly hair and would walk around everywhere with my foam curlers- we’re talking Shirley Temple!  Who doesn’t love to dress up like a fairy with wings and a wand?!



7. The Gondoliers (2009)- Well… for me this show was interesting.  I was a hobo a this time, and poor Ceris would worry if I was late to rehearsal, afraid I had died… Not a good time personally for me- I was so sick- which was too bad for my solo bits.  But again, fun!  I don’t know if I would have gotten through my crappy life at the time if I didn’t have the theatre and all my wonderful friends to support me.  There’s something about being involved in a show that is just life changing and bonds people together forever.  I MISS G & S!  Image

CLICK the SPEECH BUBBLE and share some of your favourite G & S memories and please pass this on to any other G & Sers!


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