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November 2015

The fourth collaboration between Gilbert & Sullivan was their first major success: H.M.S. Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor. It opened on May 25, 1878 at the Opera Comique where it ran for 571 performances. Touring companies spread its popularity throughout Britain and in America numerous companies "pirated" the work by staging productions without the consent of the authors and without paying them any royalties. Gilbert, Sullivan and Carte tried to beat the pirates by mounting their own production in New York. Today, Pinafore remains one of the most popular Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

Drawing on several of his earlier "Bab Ballads", Gilbert imbued H.M.S. Pinafore with mirth and silliness to spare. He pokes fun at the notion that the First Lord of the Admiralty should be a purely political appointment whose holder need never have been to sea. Sir Joseph Porter has arisen from humble beginnings to that high office by political acumen and not only insists that all orders should be qualified by the phrase "If you please" but writes songs to promote "independence of thought and action in the lower branches of the service". We meet the snobbish Captain, who never swears a "big, big D" (Well, hardly ever!) and who is horrified to find his daughter is in love with a "common" sailor on board his own ship whilst himself nurturing a fondness for a poor bumboat woman. How will it be possible for his daughter to be united with the man she loves without marrying beneath her station? Fear not: it all works out in the end. Hip, hip, hoorah!

(text from The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive)

thanks to Stephen for these photographs


If you would like more information on any aspect of the society
• to perform
• to help out
• to see a show
please contact Hazel
phone: 01908 616213

We rehearse and perform in Stewartby. Early rehearsals are held at the church hall, later rehearsals and the performances are at Stewartby Village Hall.

Stewartby United Church Hall
Park Crescent. MK43 9NJ

Stewartby Village Hall
Stewartby Way. MK43 9LX

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