Archive for the ‘G&S Newsletters’ Category

Hello everyone
This will be the last time you see this logo as the final curtain has come down on what was, without question, a brilliant show. The critics were unanimous in their praise. A couple visiting from Jo’burg wanted to know when the show was moving there so they could take their friends. And how’s this for a comment, sent to our website: My wife and I just loved your production of Guys and Dolls….the best musical we have ever seen…bar none…and yes we did see the London production. Congratulations to one and all.
Congratulations indeed. Everything came together so well: those on stage outdid themselves night after night; those backstage worked tirelessly managing the huge, but magnificent set; those in the pit were outstanding and contributed so much to the vibrancy of the production. The singing was great under Bill’s direction (not forgetting Garth’s contribution in the early weeks of rehearsal). And ultimately Kyla could feel very proud of her baby. Thanks to everyone involved!


The great sadness was that the show was not better supported by the Cape Town public. It certainly deserved support, but from a financial point of view, the Society is facing another significant loss. Taking into account the loss on last year’s production, we are going to have to be very cautious going into next year’s show.
Another sadness was that Michelle Galloway, who was to have shared the role of Adelaide with Laura Bosman, had an accident on stage two days before opening night and broke some bones in her foot. The usual encouragement to “Break a leg” was taboo for the rest of the show! Laura soldiered on for all 28 performances and did a wonderful job. But we feel for Michelle, and trust that her foot heals quickly and leaves no lingering effects.
Once the accounts for the show have been finalised, we will need to have a Production Account meeting at which we review and analyse all aspects of the show. You will be advised of date and place in due course.
And so, as we put one show to bed, another is in the process of stirring.
By the time you get this, auditions will be under way. If you still want a chance to audition, contact Issy immediately on 021 433 0923 after 3.00 pm weekdays, and any (reasonable) time over weekends. You can download the audition form from our website. Go to http://www.gands.co.za, click on ‘About Us’, then click on ‘Downloads’ and the ‘Oklahoma Audition Form’.
The tentative dates for this show are 19 July to 3 August 2014. Preliminary rehearsal information will be available at the auditions.
You’re invited – OPSKOP 2013!
Our end-of-year OPSKOP will be held this year on MONDAY 16 DECEMBER at the home of Laura Bosman in Pinelands (thanks so much Laura!). See details below. For the uninitiated, this is our closing social event of the year. Bring your meat and drink – we’ll supply the rest. If you can help with a half drum for braaiing, please let David Bolton know (0845880133). And so that we know how much salad and rolls to prepare, please RSVP to David by Friday 13th – or earlier if you’re wary of that date! (email address below.)

A new constitution for the Society was approved at a Special General Meeting of members on Monday 18 November. It will be available soon for viewing on our website (go the same route as for the Audition Form, but click on ‘Our constitution’.) It is hoped that this new constitution will give us a form of governance more appropriate to the Society we have become, and enable us also to seek registration as an NPO, with some of the attendant benefits. Though that new constitution becomes effective immediately, the existing Exco has been mandated to continue steering the affairs of the Society until the AGM next year.

Our Society entered two teams in this year’s quiz, hosted by last year’s winners, Constantiaberg Theatre Players. We came very close to top and tailing the scoreboard, as our A team (consisting of Teddy, Lorna, Gwen and Cindy) triumphed gloriously, while our B team (Alastair, Adrian K, Irene Forbes and your scribe) rather ingloriously just managed to avoid last place. So well done to the A Team! Only trouble is that as this year’s winners, we have to host and organise next year’s quiz.


Still time to catch the Ray Cooney farce “It Runs in the Family” from Milnerton Players at the Milnerton Playhouse. The play features a couple of our members in Cindy Nixon, Nigel Sweet and Sheila McCormick.
29 November-7 December, “Rope”, presented by Muizenberg Dramatic Society at the Masque. Loosely based on the Leopold-Loeb case, where two young, privileged men murdered another young man just for the thrill of it, this riveting play is filled with typical Hitchcockian moments. Has a murder been committed? If so, where is the body? What was the motive? Don’t miss this thriller which will have you on the edge of your seat! Book through The Masque on 021 7881898 or bookings@masquetheatre.co.za
Something different from Pinelands Players.….FLASHMOB THEATRE! On Saturday, 30 November 2013, at the First Pinelands Scout Hall, Lieske Bester and Debbie Gildenhuys will be directing a production in just one day! Between 08h00 and 17h00, with a break for lunch, they will cast, script, rehearse, costume, set-up, perform and strike a theatre performance. Participants will receive snacks and drinks during the day. A huge challenge for the directors and great fun for the participants. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the performance. More info at http://pinelandsplayers.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/theatre-in-a-day/ .
Don’t forget to check out our website from time to time. Some great photos of Guys and Dolls. http://www.gands.co.za
That’s it. Try and get some rest during the holiday season and come back fresh for another year of theatrical enjoyment. And for those engaging in special religious celebrations during the next few weeks, be richly blessed.

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 As previously announced, for our 2014 musical production, the Cape Town Gilbert & Sullivan Society will be staging a new lavish production of Oklahoma! in the Artscape Opera House from 19 July to 3 August 2014 accompanied by the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first collaboration remains, in many ways, their most innovative, having set the standards and established the rules of musical theatre still being followed today.  Here the evergreen songs including  Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’;   People Will Say We’re in Love;   The Surrey With the Fringe on Top;   Many a New Day;   Out of My Dreams,  as well as vibrant dance numbers and a charming story have been triumphantly blended into one of the masterpieces of musical theatre.

The show will be staged and directed by Teddy Davies with musical direction by Alastair Cockburn and choreography by Kyla Thorburn – all musical theatre multi-award winners.

And now  – all you need to know about the forthcoming auditions:




All auditions will take place at Artscape as follows:


  1. Saturday, 23rd November:  All auditions for the Chorus.  Prospective chorus members are required to sing a song of their own choice from a classical musical in similar style to “Oklahoma!”  Please refer to the attached cast list to identify the various categories/types of characters required for the chorus.
  1. Saturday, 30th November:  All auditions for Principal Characters.  Prospective Principals are required to sing a song from Oklahoma! if possible, or alternatively, any other classical musical in similar style.  It will be advantageous to choose a song which matches the character that you are auditioning for.  Please refer to the attached cast list for a complete breakdown of all the characters in the show.
  1. Sunday, 8th December (morning):  Auditions for all prospective specialist dancers.
  1. Further recall auditions etc. will be held in addition to the above.  Please refer to the table below for a complete overview of all the auditions times:




Time frame


Room No.

Saturday, 23rd November 10h00 to 13h00

14h00 to 17h00

Chorus Singing Audition

Chorus Singing Audition cont.

RR 308
Saturday, 30th November 10h00 to 13h00

14h00 to 17h00

Principals Singing / Dialogue Audition

Principals Singing / Dialogue Audition cont.

Music Room 306
Sunday 1st December 12h00 to 17h00 Principals Recall Workshop Music Room 306
Saturday 7th December 14h00 to 17h00 Principals Recall Audition Music Room 306
Sunday 8th December 10h00 to 13h00

14h00 to 17h00

Dancers Audition

Chorus Recall Audition

RR 301

RR 301


Important notes for Auditionees:


  1. 1.      When attending your audition, all auditionees should arrive with a prepared song and, if the song is not from “Oklahoma!”, the full sheet music accompaniment must be provided to the accompanist. 
  2. 2.      With regard to Chorus auditions, it is likely that the audition panel will only listen to a portion of the prepared song in initially assessing voices.
  3. 3.      Please complete the audition form which can be downloaded from the G&S Society’s website, www.gilbertandsullivan.co.za/aboutus/downloads  and bring it with you to your audition.




  1. Telephone the audition administrator, Issy Silbowitz, on 021 433 0923 from 3pm onwards on weekdays, and anytime on weekends.
  2. Please furnish him with your full name and contact details (telephone numbers and email address);
  3. Inform him what you wish to audition for and if you have a personal preference, the sort of time frame (morning or afternoon) in which you could be available. Please bear in mind that any request for a personal time is subject to available slots.





Age Range

Role Type

Voice Range


Aunt Eller Murphy A middle-aged down-to-earth ‘mother to everyone’.   She is Laurey’s aunt and confidante.   She is a respected community leader. 40 – 60 Comedy Mezzo  



Age Range

Role Type

Voice Range


Laurey Williams Her niece.   An independent young lady who is confused about her feelings for Curly and too innocent to realise that her “involvement” with Jud could lead to serious trouble. 18 – 25 Romantic female lead Soprano  
Curly McLain A handsome young cowboy madly in love with Laurey.   His heart is in the right place and he is strong in facing up to Jud. 22 – 32 Romantic male lead Light Baritone  
Jud Fry The hired hand on Aunt Eller’s farm.   Sullen, mysterious and sinister.   He lives a depressive existence in the smoke-house – a dangerous loner disliked by everyone. 27 – 38 Dramatic Baritone  
Will Parker A young cowboy who is determined to win Ado Annie.  He has a pleasant happy-go-lucky disposition. 25 – 35 Comedy Tenor A song and dance man
Ado Annie Carnes A flirtatious and gullible girl who cannot resist any man, particularly if a wedding ring is in prospect. 18 – 25 Comedy Soprano / Soubrette  
Andrew Carnes Her father and the local judge.  Very quick to brandish his shotgun! 50 – 65 Comedy / Dramatic Tenor A mature, older man. 
Gertie Cummings A local ditzy girl – another flirt whose presence is always announced by her ear-piercing laugh.   Like Annie, she just wants to get married to someone. 18 – 25 Comedy Cameo Non-singing


Ali Hakim A Persian peddler and shrewd salesman.   A great one for the girls but not too adept at avoiding shotguns! 28 – 45 Comedy Baritone Sprechtgesang   –


Ike Skidmore A ranch-house cowman. 40 – 65 Cameo Baritone A mature, older man
Cord Elam A farmer and Federal Marshall 45 – 65 Cameo Baritone A mature, older man
Slim and Fred Cowboy friends of Curly’s 20 – 35 Cameo Baritones  
Vivian, Ellen, Faye and Virginia Laurey’s special girlfriends 18 – 25 Cameo Sopranos  


Younger Ladies Laurey’s friends, farmer’s daughters and the ranchers’ gals 18 – 30 Sopranos and Altos Dance training or experience in stage movement would be a recommendation.
Farmers and Cowmen’s wives / gals Mature ladies Sopranos and Altos No age restriction.
Cowboys Younger men – friends of Curly’s 20 – 35 Tenors and Basses Dance training or experience in stage movement would be a recommendation.
Farmers and Cowmen Mature men Tenors and Basses No age restriction
Children 2 boys and 2 girls 8 – 12 The girls must be dancers


Laurey, Curly

and Jud

If “real principal characters” have formal dance training, they may be used for the “ballet characters” as well.
Dancers 6 x Girlfriends of Laurey’s /

6 x Cowboys /

6 x Female Music Hall Girls /

3 x “Poscard” Girls /

1 x Little Girl

Any “real chorus members” with formal dance training or experience will be considered for the “ballet characters” as well.
  • Trained dancers who audition for the principal roles of Laurey, Curly and Jud and the chorus parts of Laurey’s Girlfriends and the Cowboys, are requested to attend the Dance Audition as well;
  • Dancers with good singing voices will generally also be required to be part of the Chorus;
  • The cameo roles of Ike Skidmore, Cord Elam, Slim, Fred, Vivian, Ellen, Faye and Virginia also form part of the Chorus;
  • The full company except for Ali Hakim, Gertie Cummings and Jud Fry will sing the major “Oklahoma!” number in Act 2.




The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre by Kurt Ganzl is an excellent source of reference for all aspects of Musical Theatre.  It is published in two volumes, beautifully bound, as a “boxed set”.

Several brand new copies of this work are available for sale at the very low price of R400 per set.  A new set advertised on Amazon.com would cost upwards of R1000.

If anyone is interested in purchasing a set of these encyclopedias, please contact Alastair Cockburn via email to alastairc@artscape.co.za    Alastair is acting on behalf of an independent elderly gentleman who has a small stock of this publication.

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Hello again
Your Exco, together with a few of our Honorary Life Members, has been engaged over the better part of a year now in a process of evaluating where we are as a Society, and where we want to be in, say, 20 years time. The fact is that we are not the Society we were 20 years ago and we recognise that our existing structures may need some tweaking to keep up with the changes. Already some fruits of this endeavour are to be seen: the new website, workshops and concerts (see later in this newsletter), some longer term production planning, and possible organisational restructuring. Some of this may require amendments to our constitution, in which case a Special General Meeting will be called. In the meantime, we continue with Guys and Dolls.
I attended a rehearsal recently, just to see how things are going. Kyla greeted me by saying, quite shamelessly, ”I want your body”. Er, yes, Kyla, I do understand, but a little more discretion would be nice. . But then it turned out that all she wanted was for me to stand in for an absent cast member. Oh well …
Cast news: Wesley Figaji is taking on the role of Nathan Detroit in the ‘Dolls’ cast, and Renco Griesel, aka ’Cheesecake Ike’h is joining the gangsters. Welcome to you both.
Tickets: These are now available from Computicket and as Prefs from cast members. Prices are (Pref prices in brackets): Evenings: R250 (R225); R225 (R200); R175 (R160) Matinees: R240 (R215); R215 (R190); R165 (R160).
And by now, we should be flying! Look out for our banner on the Artscape building as you drive past on the Foreshore. I was hoping to have a picture to prove it, but I haven’ft yet received it, and since this Newsletter is already overdue, I can’t wait any longer. So check it out for yourself.
And how have rehearsals been going? Well, apart from benches threatening to break at crucial moments, and at least one instance of the showstopping number becoming a case of ‘Fall down, you’re rocking the boat’h . rather well, I thought. But here’s a more detailed insight from one of the cast members herself.
Rehearsals for our upcoming production are well underway with plenty of exclamations of surprise being emitted recently at the news that we’ll be moving into the Artscape Theatre in just under EIGHT WEEKS! It seems like a fairly long time away still, but everyone on the team knows how quickly that will pass when everything that’s been accomplished over the last two months is pieced together into the very awesome whole.
Garth Tavares spent a few weeks putting everyone through their vocal paces and painstakingly drilling harmonies into their heads. Once that process was completed, the focus was placed on the blocking, the dance steps, the production numbers… Which, of course, means that Garth will have to go over all those harmonies againc As most of us know, multi-tasking doesn’t always work so well during movement rehearsals!
But while those harmonies may sound a little ‘interesting’ right now, Kyla, Mandy and Keenan are getting the company sitting, standing, touch-stepping, and skidding across the stage in 4 beats while trying not to crash into those skidding in the opposite direction. This sometimes involves a cast member falling off a bench and landing unceremoniously on the floor in a heap… No names shall be mentioned.
At the same time William is yelling out ‘tendu’, ‘releve’, ’echappe’ at the Waterfront Theatre School dancers. Some of us find this confusing and think he’s ordering really special coffee, but we won’t admit it. Whatever it all means, the routines already have showstopping potential!
Anyone who has chosen to pop into a rehearsal over the last many weeks hasn’t been offered the option of just relaxing and observing. A number of cast members have been involved in other productions so stand-in bodies are regularly required. No one is safe so be warned!
We’re hoping to have the full cast at rehearsals from now on as all the individual scenes start being strung together and much memorizing and polishing takes place. Tickets are on sale already so make sure you book yours soon . you do NOT want to miss this production!

With thanks to Melissa.
A special request from Stage Manager Guilma . if anyone out there has some experience in make-up, and would be willing to assist during the run of the show, please contact her at guilmastander@gmail.com
And another request: Kyla is looking for someone to act as Prompt during rehearsals, once they reach ‘Books down’ in a couple of weeks. Any takers? Contact Kyla at kboxall@truworths.co.za
Now here is a chance for all those not involved in Guys and Dolls to learn something, and then immediately put it into practice …
Some exciting news for our members and other interested parties! Your Society has decided to run a workshop project around the G&S one-act opera, ‘Trial by Jury’. The idea is that members and other interested participants will have the opportunity of dissecting and learning this witty and fun work through a series of workshop sessions. Sessions will include character development and analysis; understanding and exploring the subtleties of meaning and subtext of the libretto; voice projection techniques; audition
techniques; basic rudiments of music literacy to enable easier reading and learning of G&S and Musical scores; and music and production rehearsals for ’Trial by Jury’. These sessions are sure to be great fun and very informative, and some of the sessions will be facilitated by guest experts in their specific fields.
The idea is that we will present the piece in a semi-staged production for performances in various venues around the Western Cape from the end of this year and early next year. There are currently definite performances planned for 16th December 2013 and 23rd January 2014 with others to be announced shortly. Workshop and Rehearsal sessions will be held once a week on Monday evenings starting at 19h30 on 19th August. (That’s less than two weeks away!) Workshop/rehearsal venues will be announced shortly to those participating, along with a full schedule of all the sessions.
The aim of this project is to give an opportunity to those not involved in the current major production of ‘Guys and Dolls’, to take part in an alternative production. Also, it is a great learning opportunity for those who will be auditioning for future productions . the workshop sessions generally will teach and hone skills required prior to going onto stage and on the stage itself. Over the past few years, the G&S Society has been running a series of concerts of G&S repertoire at old age homes and for other organisations and these concerts have always proved to be a popular, enjoyable and entertaining experience for all those taking part, as well as for the various audiences. This ’Project Trial by Jury Workshop’ will be similar in concept with the added dimension of being a ‘staged production’.
All those who are interested in participating are requested to urgently contact Issy Silbowitz who has kindly agreed to facilitate the initial administration of this project. Please use his email address: justbooks@telkomsa.net to indicate your willingness to participate. Include your full name, your contact details (landline and cell phone numbers, and your email address), as well as your voice type (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass) if you know it. However, don’t worry if you don’t because we will help you to identify your true vocal range. Participants will be given the opportunity (their choice) to audition for various roles in the production during the course of the initial workshop sessions. And we can promise some surprises for those who know the show. Although it is our intention that the production will be sung traditionally, some characters may just evolve a little differently from the usual!
We’re looking forward to hearing from many of you and promise a fun and rewarding experience.
Alastair Cockburn and Teddy Davies
(Project ’Trial by Jury’ Facilitators)
Jack Matthee
Jack passed away a few weeks ago. He built or part built numerous sets and props for us . and for various other amdram societies . over the years. He was one of those creative people who could create something from nothing, and take great delight in doing so. We honour his memory. He will be missed by the amdram community of Cape Town. Our loving greetings go to Karen.
For those interested, it has been announced that after this year, the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival will be moving from Buxton to Harrogate in the UK. For those of us who have taken our shows to Buxton in the past, that’s a little sad, as we’ve become quite fond of Buxton, but Harrogate also sounds good, and who knows, maybe we’ll get there some time in the future.
Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society presents DANCE AFTER DARK at the Playhouse in Somerset West from Tuesday 6th to Saturday 17th August (there are matinees over the weekends). Tickets will be available at ticketnet.co.za or booking office: 072 097 5802.
Pinelands Players present MARVELLOUS MUSIC . a tribute to and benefit for Victor Tichardt, on August 23rd at the Pinelands Town Hall. An all music programme, featuring many artists and songs, some by people known to us who have been in our shows. A cheese and wine welcome before the show, with various raffles and prizes. Tickets R130. To book: 021-5318683, 072-4467532, or email cjwells@mweb.co.za
AUDITIONS: Pinelands Players are calling for auditions for two original plays written by Graham Leverton (now where have I heard that name before?!) and to be directed by him. Saturday 10th August from 10:00. ‘The Game of Cards’ is a drama involving a deadly game of poker. Required are 5 men (ages 20-45) & 1 woman (age 20-35). ’The Interview’ is a comedy about two bosses searching for the right candidate. Required are 4 men (20-30) & 1 woman (20-30). Performances 24-26 October.Contact Graham on 082 5509164.

And that will do it for now. If you’re not in G&D, donft forget to contact Issy soon!

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VOLUME 20, ISSUE 3 – JUNE 2013
Hello everyone
Winter has finally arrived with a vengeance. “How beautifully blue the sky” – no, that’s not right. “And yet it rained but yesterday” seems more like it (and the day before, for that matter). “Tomorrow it may pour again …” – probably. “Continue fine I hope it may” seems unlikely. And I’m certainly not too optimistic about having “a warm July”! – And for the uninitiated, that’s all from The Pirates of Penzance. However, rather more current is …GUYS AND DOLLS
There have been a couple of withdrawals and additions to the cast since the last GASLIGHT. Welcome to Kevin Abbott (Skye Masterson – Dolls cast); Clifford Graham (Lt Brannigan – both casts); Natalie Moodley and Andrea Jensen (Dolls chorus); Luke Brown (Gangster). The Dancing Dolls are: Thalia Burt, Monique van Wyk, Claire Boswell, Ambre-Chanel Fulton, Brittane van Loggerenberg, Rushney Ferguson and Skye Weiss. Additional Dancing Guys are Sonwa Sakuba, Evan Livesey, Kyle Jardine, Dirk Joubert and Sonwabo Vagi.
Our MD, Bill Holland, wound up in hospital for a double heart-bypass operation recently. I’m glad to report that he is making excellent progress and is raring to go with G&D. In fact he even put in an unexpected – but welcome – appearance at the Getting to Know You Party.
Stage Manager Guilma Stander has indicated that some backstage help will be needed. Here’s an opportunity to learn the ropes and receive training on the Artscape stage. If you’re interested, please contact Guilma on 084 5891812
Performance dates are from 18 October to 10 November, in the Artscape Theatre. Preferential ticket sales from cast members will be available from mid-July, and from Computicket from the beginning of August. Prices are (Pref prices in brackets): Evenings: R250 (R225); R225 (R200); R175 (R160) Matinees: R240 (R200); R215 (R190); R165 (R160).
Last Saturday at the Claremont Dramatic Society clubhouse, known as The Hok, the G&D cast assembled for the first time, to meet each other, to be introduced to the production team and the principals, and to hear what was expected of them – and of course to consume vast quantities of cupcakes and various other goodies. It was good to see the high percentage of faces new to the Society. I think it would be fair to say that a fairly convivial atmosphere prevailed
The AGM took place at the Pinelands Club on 15 April. First item of business was the Society Awards for 2012.

Congratulations to all the following recipients:
OPERA: To Graham Boxall for his superb portrayal of Jack Point in Yeomen
of the Guard.
fine portrayal of Wilfred Shadbolt.
 THE EUNICE WILLIAMS CUP FOR AN EXCELLENT TECHNICAL OR ARTISTIC CONTRIBUTION IN A GILBERT AND SULLIVAN OPERA OR A MUSICAL: To Bronwyn Scott for her calm and outstandingly effective role as stage manager for Yeomen.
 THE RICHARD SHARLAND TROPHY FOR THE BEST MUSICAL ITEM: Another new award was presented to Sian Atterbury, Adri Louw, Ferdi Oosthuizen and Stephan Le Roux for their superb singing of “Strange Adventure”.
 CERTIFICATES OF MERIT were presented to: Linda Gawronsky for her sterling work in taking over the preferential bookings at a late stage, and doing it so well; Morag Tyson for her excellent service as Assistant Stage Manager; Alison King for her effective and appropriate props; Liesl Hartje, a newcomer, for her wonderful portrayal of Elsie Maynard; Lara Milne, another newcomer, for her wonderful portrayal of Phoebe Meryll; Stephan Le Roux for his consistently high standard of performance as Sergeant Meryll; Guilma Stander for her many contributions to the success of the production.
 The PATRON’S PLAQUE for assistance from someone who is not a member of the Society, to Eugene October and his Artscape Technical Crew, for their huge contribution to the success of Yeomen.
 A PETER DONALDSON AWARD for service above the usual call of duty to Lorna Hansen, for her work in connection with the Society’s three trips to Buxton, in 2005, 2007 and 2012, as well as her work in organising concerts which showcase the G&S genre and the Society’s talents.
 HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP to Adrian van Stolk for his dedicated and successful business management of several productions over many years.
 HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP toRichard Whittaker for his many contributions to the success of our productions since 2004.

 HONORARY VICE PRESIDENCY for the year 2013: Helen Houghton.
The Financial Report made rather gloomy reading. The loss on Yeomen, plus costs incurred in the trip to Buxton, made a significant dent in the Society’s financial reserves. It is our policy that the Musicals will help to subsidise the losses on the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, so we trust that Guys and Dolls will do fantastically well and replenish our finances. We need your support for this show!
Your Exco for 2013 (with the portfolios which were subsequently allocated at the first meeting):
Ken Leverton – Chairperson (and Newsletter) Waldo Buckle – Hon. Secretary Graham Ellis – Hon. Treasurer Ian Kirkwood – Vice chair and membership Guilma Stander – Social and membership Glenda Carmichael – Wardrobe Steve Broekmann – Assets and Insurance Alastair Cockburn – Productions David Bolton – Website and marketing Anthony Storr Lister – Library and archives.
The only member of the previous Exco to retire is long-serving secretary, Niel Roux, to whom we extend our thanks.
Have you had a look at our new website yet? If not, do yourself a favour and have a browse. Find it at http://www.gands.co.za Or http://www.gilbertandsullivan.co.za If anyone out there is interested in advertising on the rolling scroll bar at the bottom of each page, the fee is R800 per annum. Contact David Bolton on 084 5880133.
CATA AWARDS – An apology
In mentioning our CATA award winners in the last edition, I somehow overlooked making mention of one rather special award made on the night. It was made to one Adrian Kettle, our oldest (no, I’m not thinking of age, but duration) member. He was awarded the CODS Little Theatre cup for Outstanding Achievement in service to Amateur Theatre. Well done Adrian. You’re an institution – and I can’t help thinking that part of the service rendered is the wonderful way your inimitable laugh can get an entire audience chuckling!
Festival Productions presents BOY MEETS BOY …….. and boy marries boy in this topical smash hit musical at the Artscape Arena from 29 June to 20 July 2013 (including Saturday matinees) with low price previews on 27 and 28 June. Booking at Computicket or Dial-a-Seat 021 421 7695. The musical had a five star West End revival last year. Direction by Teddy Davies.
Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society present Bram Stoker’s Dracula! at the Playhouse in Somerset West on 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27 July. Directed by Philippe Pringiers.
Constantiaberg Players invites you to audition for A HANDFUL OF FRIENDS, by David Williamson, to be directed by Sue Bolton. Date: 9th June. Venue: Bergvliet Guide Hall( Off Ladies Mile ) Time: 14.30. Production Dates: 20th-28th September. The play needs five characters – 2 couples and a sister to one of the men. Enquiries to Sue Bolton 021 7822506, orl 076 6703629.
The last few weeks have been a sad time for the Society.

First, Richard Whittaker’s wife, Renee, died on 17 April after a long illness.
A few days later we heard of the passing of Hon Life Member, Erika Mitchell. I thought Adrian Kettle’s brief tribute summed up beautifully her contribution to the Society: She had a very interesting career in G&S; she sang, painted scenery and was a very good allround portraitist, and a wonderful helpmeet to Ken (her late husband), as he climbed ladders under her eagle eye to install lighting. She finally said ‘enough’ when he was in his eighties, remarking to me that she prayed hard (all the while knitting furiously!). May she rest in peace.
And then just a couple of weeks later, we heard that Keith Anderson had died. Keith had a colourful career (including as a trapeze artist and trainer), but for G&S he was a set designer and builder of note.
Finally those with longer memories may remember Mervyn McCullagh who was a member of the Society in the 1970s. He died in Ireland on 11th April where he had taken Holy Orders in the Church of Ireland.
Our loving sympathy to all those affected.
An a cappella quartet that sings mainly arrangements of 60s and 70s music is looking for a committed, confident individual with some training, between the ages of 25 and 45. If you’re interested, call Meredith Keegan (083 328 9097 or 021 462 7623) or email: advertising@womanonline.co.za
And that’s it for now. Keep warm.
EXCO: Ken Leverton – Chair/Gaslight Waldo Buckle – Hon. Secretary Graham Ellis – Hon. Treasurer Ian Kirkwood – Vice chair and Membership Steve Broekmann – Assets and Insurance David Bolton – Website/Marketing Guilma Stander – Membership/Social Glenda Carmichael – Wardrobe Alastair Cockburn – Productions Anthony Storr Lister – Archives

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Hello everyone
To those who are receiving this newsletter for the first time, especially the new Guys and Dolls on the block, a very warm welcome. Those of us who have been around a bit longer look forward to meeting you in due course. And that seems to be as good an introduction as any to news of the show.
After much soul searching and not a little agonising, the cast for Guys and Dolls is taking shape. So far, this is what we have:

Sarah Browne – Sian Atterbury, Jen Moss

Skye Masterson, Werner Viln
Adelaide – Michelle Galloway, Laura Bosman

Nathan Detroit – Andrew Weiss, Trevor Joubert

Nicely Nicely Johnson – Graham Boxall, Keenan Oliphant

Benny Southstreet – Matthew de Klerk, Keenan Oliphant
Arvide Abenathy – Dennis Benneyworth
General Matilda B. Cartwright – Fiona Carling

Lt. Brannigan Not Cast Yet
Big Julie – Graham Ellis
The following cast members are in all performances:

CHORUS OF CHARACTERS Allana Aldrige, Linda Gawronsky,Tennessee Barbar, Kimberley Stuart, Angelika Heald, Lee De Andrade, Jamie Kawalsky, Andrea Benkenstein, Carley Dowling, Phillippa Van Ryneveld, Yolanda Maholwane, Nawaal Howa, Melissa Sanderson, Michelle Hough, Luella Holland, Tersia Harley
Dudonne Diergaardt – Harry the Horse,  James Maritz, Robert Viljoen, Simon Speck – Rusty Charlie,  Justin de Vries, Waldo Buckle – MC, Chris King, Keenan Oliphant,  Adrian Kettle, Marcel Engelbrecht, Werner Van Coller, Niel Koekemoer, Grant Tattersall, Sibusiso Mpanza, Johan Roos

Congratulations to you all. We look forward to seeing you all in sparkling form on stage at Artscape in a few months time. Rehearsals begin on 3 June, with the ‘Getting to Know You’ party the previous Saturday, when I gather the cast will be learning to “Shoot craps”. Should be interesting!
Performance dates are from 18 October to 10 November, in the Artscape Theatre. We’ll keep you posted about ticket sales in due course.
The nail-biting wait for the Guys and Dolls cast announcement is over! After three weekends spent putting the bold, the brave, and the exceedingly nervous through their paces, the casting committee knuckled down to much debate, contention, and cups of coffee. Followed by wine at an acceptable hour, of course.
The initial auditions took place over two full weekends. Those 77 shaking-kneed individuals weren’t only required to get the vocal cords in order, but were also expected to dance and show off their acting prowess.
From there the list was narrowed down to 19 possible principals and 35 chorus members. The casting committee spent another Saturday increasing their caffeine intake to a dangerous level, grabbing the odd and rather brief nicotine fix, and hearing Adelaide’s Lament far too many times while the panicking hopefuls sweated through the process.
Keenan Oliphant survived teaching, rehearsing and performing two versions of the dance routine approximately 178 times over those weekends. He is recovering well and has finally stopped swaying his hips whenever he walks between lectures.
Helen Broekmann played Luck Be A Lady 33 times, Take Back Your Mink 57 times, and has been heard to warn that she will not be held responsible for her actions if anyone ever asks to sing Follow The Fold again.
But the choices were finally made and the cast of 46 congratulated on their success.
And it’s not over yet! The dancer auditions are still to take place….
(Thanks Melissa)
The Society AGM will be held on Monday 15 April at the Pinelands Recreation Club in Lonsdale Way, beginning with registration at 19.00. There will be the presentation of the accounts for 2012, the Chairperson will give his report, the annual Society awards will be presented, and your Exco for the year will be elected. We also hope to be introduced to our bright and shiny new website. You should have received the formal Notice of Meeting by now.
Although you are all invited to attend, a reminder that only paid up members are entitled to vote at the AGM. Subs may be paid at the door on the night. Subs remain unchanged for 2013, viz. Single R90, Couple R120, Students and Pensioners R60.

The awards evening took place at the Masque Theatre on 18 March. We are delighted to say that our Society garnered various awards for performances in Yeomen of the Guard.
The Stars in our firmament are:
Best Supporting Actress in Play or Musical – Sian Atterbury
Downey Cup for Best Actor in a Musical – Graham Boxall
Best Musical Director – Alastair Cockburn
Then there were numerous Certificates of Excellence:
The Chorus, for their ensemble work.
Ferdi Oosthuizen for his solo “Is life a boon?”
Graham Boxall for his solo “Oh, a private buffoon”.
Graham Boxall and David Bolton for the duet “Hereupon we’re both agreed”.
Sian Atterbury, Adri Louw, Ferdi Oosthuizen and Stephan Le Roux for the Quartet “Strange Adventure”.
Liesl Hartje, Lara Milne, Ferdi Oosthuizen and Graham Boxall for the Quartet “When a wooer goes a-wooing”.
Liesl Hartje for her solo “Tis done! I am a bride”.
The Chorus (again!!) for the ensemble “The Prisoner comes”.
Warmest congratulations to all. We’re very proud of you!
And congratulations too to the many other award winners who have featured at some stage in the past in one of our shows. We’re pleased and happy for you all.
Pinelands Players present an evening of Melodramas directed by Roché Haupt from 21 May to 1 June in the Pinelands Town Hall.
Milnerton Players present CHILDREN OF THE WOLF, a gripping psychological thriller by John Peacock at the Milnerton Playhouse from 24 May to 01 June. Direction by Bruce Sanderson.
Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society present Bram Stoker’s Dracula! at the Playhouse in Somerset West on 18, 19, 20 , 25, 26 and 27 July. Directed by Philippe Pringiers.
We hear that some folk, current members or associated with our Society, are struggling with health that is a long way from being what they would wish. Our love and best wishes go to Heather Earp-Jones, Lynn Moss, Jack Matthee, Renee Whittaker, and their loved ones.
We were also sad to hear of the very recent tragic death of Brenda Gray’s daughter Vivienne. Our love and condolences to you, Brenda.
That’s all folks. Hope to see you at the AGM.
EXCO: Steve Broekmann – chair Niel Roux – Hon. Secretary Graham Ellis – Hon. Treasurer Ken Leverton – Vice chair, Gaslight David Bolton – Marketing Guilma Stander – Membership and Social Ian Kirkwood – Membership Alastair Cockburn – Productions Glenda Carmichael – Social/Wardrobe Anthony Storr Lister – Archives Waldo Buckle – Website, Marketing

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You are invited to audition for the G&S 2013 musical production of “Guys and Dolls


Director: Kyla Thorburn

Musical Director: Bill Holland

Production dates: 18th October to 10th November 2013

at the Artscape Theatre


The company will include +/- 70 performers, including 10 principals and supporting roles, 16 dancers and a chorus of +/- 24 who will need to perform a multitude of cameo roles. This includes a performing supporting cast for most of the principal and supporting roles.


v      All auditions will be held at the Artscape Theatre Complex.


v      Auditions are to be held on:

–          Saturday and Sunday, 2nd and 3rd March: Chorus

–          Saturday and Sunday, 9th  and 10th  March: Principals and Supporting Roles

–          Saturday morning, 16th March: Chorus Call Backs

–          Saturday afternoon, 16th  March: Principal and Supporting Cast Call Backs



v      To book an audition slot and for further information, please email  gsguysanddolls@gmail.com


v      Please refer to the Cast Table below with regards to the details of roles available and what to prepare for the audition. All songs are from the musical “Guys and Dolls”. A pianist will be available for accompaniment, but if you wish to bring your own, you are most welcome.


v      Auditionees will be told at their first audition or soon afterwards via e-mail/telephone if they will be required to attend call-back auditions. At this time they will be informed as to what to specifically prepare for these call-back auditions.


v      You are free to audition for more than one role. If we consider you have the potential to fill another role we may ask you to prepare an additional song from the show as part of the call-back audition. This does not mean you are eliminated from the primary role for which you originally auditioned.



v      Please note that this is an amateur production and there will therefore be no remuneration.










Sarah Brown (F) A Beautiful and innocent missionary



 (B to High A)    Principal

Singer / Actress

If I Were a Bell / I’ll Know
Skye Masterson (M) A handsome, wealthy gambler


Light Baritone (B to Eb)        Principal

Singer / Actor

Luck be a Lady / I’ll Know
Adelaide (F) A simple minded singer/dancer at the ‘Hot Box’ club with a perpetual psychosomatic cold. She’s been engaged to Nathan Detroit for 14 years and desperately wants to get married



(A to D)                          Principal                            




Singer / Actress / Mover

Adelaide’s Lament / Take Back Your Mink
Nathan Detroit (M) Charming, but financially strapped manager of the floating crap game.


Mainly Spoken – sings part of two songs Baritone (D to High F)                                              Principal

Actor / Mover / Singer

Dialogue (Bronx accent) / Sue Me
Nicely Nicely Johnson (M) Gangster – Gambler and Nathan’s closest associate. Larger than life character

Any age over 25

Tenor (Db to High Bb)               Support

Singer / Actor / Mover

Rocking the Boat
Benny Southstreet (M) Gangster – Gambler is Nicely Nicely’s side kick and foil

Any age over 18

Baritone                             Support

Singer / Actor / Mover

Guys and Dolls
Big Jule (M) Intimidating Hustler – Gambler from Chicago


Spoken                                          Support


Dialogue (Rough Chicago growl)
Lt. Brannigan (M) Local NYPD who is desperate to catch Nathan & illegal crap game red handed.


Spoken                                          Support


Dialogue (Bronx or Irish accent)
Arvide Abenathy (M) Sarah’s kind, warm hearted Grandfather and member of the mission.


Baritone (D to High F)


Actor / Singer

More I Cannot Wish You
General Matilda B. Cartwright (F) Regional Director of the missionary. Very serious, strict and authoritive.


Mainly Spoken – sings in some chorus numbers Support

Actress / Singer

Dialogue / Guys and Dolls



















Guys and Dolls / Luck be a Lady
Rusty Charlie Gangster – Gambler is Benny Southstreet’s side kick

Any age over 18


Singer / Actor / Mover

Harry the Horse Gangster

Any age over 16

Any male range

Singer / Actor

Angie the Ox Gangster

Any age over 16

Any male range

Singer / Actor

Liver Lips Louis Gangster

Any age over 16

Any male range

Singer / Actor

Society Max Gangster

Any age over 16

Any male range

Singer / Actor

Master of Ceremonies MC of the Hot Box Night Club

Any age over 18

Any male range

Actor / Singer

Singing Chorus (x4) Crapshooter Gangsters / Street Personalities / Mission Band / Hot Box Patrons / Havana Patrons

All ages over 16

Any male range

Singer / Actor


Guys and Dolls / Follow the Fold
Agatha A missionary in the Mission Band

Any age over 18


Actress / Singer

Singing Chorus (x13) Street Personalities / Mission Band / Hot Box Patrons / Havana Patrons

All ages over 16

Any female range

Singer / Actress


Take Back Your Mink / Guys and Dolls
Dancing Singing Chorus Street Personalities / Hot Box Dancers (2 Scenes) / Havana Dancing Chorus


Any female range

Dancer / Singer / Actress


Luck be a Lady / Guys and Dolls
Dancing Singing Chorus Crapshooters / Street Personalities / Dancing Chorus for Crapshooter Dance / Dancing Chorus for Havana Patrons


Any male range

Dancer / Singer / Actor




As you can see, there are a lot of opportunities for acting roles, superb principal and supporting singing roles, and lots of lovely little cameo acting, plus a large chorus of many characters.

You will certainly be busy and will never be bored!


Hope to see you at auditions.



Kyla & The Auditioning Panel


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Hello everyone
The new year moves on apace, and we’re already well into the second month. This edition of GASLIGHT is a little later than it should be, but that’s because I really wanted to be able to give you the latest news about our next production. Director is Kyla Thorburn with Musical Direction by Bill Holland. Kyla supplies the following:
The official audition notice for “Guys and Dolls” will be out very shortly, but until then you can whet your appetite with a few bits of tasty information, along with the dates you need to diarise.
Auditions will be held at Artscape on the following dates:
 Saturday and Sunday, 2 and 3 March: Chorus
 Saturday and Sunday, 9 and 10 March: Principals and Supporting Cast
 Saturday morning, 16 March: Chorus Call Backs
 Saturday afternoon, 16 March: Principal and Supporting Cast Call Backs
Every character in the cast – leading roles, chorus members, and dancers – is larger than life and of all ages. Musical numbers from the show will be used for the audition pieces and a very good pianist will be there as an accompanist, so no backing tracks are required.
Along with the regular chorus there will be another group who not only need to be able to sing, but also need to be top quality dancers. Auditions will be held for this male and female “Dancing & Singing” chorus at a later date.
Some leading and supporting roles will have an additional Supporting Cast who will have 8 performances spread throughout the run.
Rehearsals will commence on 29th April 2013 and will initially be held 3 times a week with more being added on a Saturday afternoon from July onwards. The production will move into the theatre on 7th October and the last performance will be on Sunday, 10th November 2013.
The Audition notice will have detailed information on the roles and audition requirements. The official audition notice will explain how to go about booking your audition slot. Once your time is confirmed you will receive an audition number and the music score for the relevant song.
We are looking forward to seeing all of you in March!
Tentative date for the Society AGM is Tuesday 19 March at 19.30, at the Pinelands Club in Lonsdale Way, Pinelands. The date is “tentative” because there is a potential delay with the preparation of the annual accounts, and audited accounts must be available at the AGM. So diarise that date for now, but do look out for the official Notice of Meeting which will confirm the date a little nearer the time.
Apart from the presentation of the accounts, the Chairperson will give his report, the annual Society awards will be presented, and your Exco for the year will be elected. Only paid up members are entitled to vote at the AGM. Subs may be paid at the door on the night. Subs remain unchanged for 2013, viz. Single R90, Couple R120, Student and Senior Citizens R60. Please be aware that our website (which will shortly be replaced by a bright and shiny new one) still reflects the out of date subscription levels. The correct subs are as mentioned above.
It’s award season, and while the Cape Amateur Theatre Awards may not generate the international hype of the little fellow on the right, they represent important recognition for amateur theatre in Cape Town. We’re happy to note that the list of nominees for this year’s awards includes many names familiar to us from previous participation in our shows. Congratulations to you all. But of course we extend particular congratulations to the nominees from our own production of Yeomen of the Guard:
BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY OR MUSICAL – Graham Boxall and David Bolton
We wish you well at the awards evening on 18 March at the Masque Theatre. The full list of nominees is rather long, and has already appeared in the press, so I won’t reproduce it here. If you missed it and want a copy, let me know.
Hottentots Holland presents A SLICE OF SATURDAY NIGHT, running until 9th February at the Playhouse Somerset West. Direction by Giles Scott; Musical Direction: Shiraz. Bookings through Computicket
Claremont Dramatic Society presents THE OWL AND THE PUSSY CAT by Bill Manhof at the Masque Theatre from 26 February to 02 March. Direction is by Clifford Graham. Bookings: 021 788 1898
Festival Productions will hold auditions for the very topical musical comedy Boy Meets Boy (Music and Lyrics by Bill Solly, Book by Bill Solly and Donald Ward) on Saturday 9 February at the Artscape Rehearsal Room 308. The production will be directed by Teddy Davies with musical direction by Victor Tichart and choreography by Roxy Levy and will be staged in June 2013. It requires 4 men and 1 woman – you need to phone Issy on 021 433 0923 after 14:00 to book an audition slot.
Milnerton Players will be holding auditions for Children of the Wolf at the Milnerton Playhouse on Saturday 16 February at 13.45 for 14.00. This is a psychological drama by John Peacock, to be directed by Bruce Sanderson. The play will be staged at Milnerton Playhouse from 24 May to 01 June 2013. For further information please contact the director Bruce Sanderson: Phone: 083 501 0887; Bruce.Sanderso1@gmail.com
You may remember that in the last edition of GASLIGHT I referred to an item on Savoynet (the internet discussion forum for G&S buffs) where people responded to the question “Why do you love Gilbert and Sullivan?” I invited any of you who were interested to let me know why you like Gilbert and Sullivan. I wasn’t exactly inundated with responses, but two people took the trouble to share their reasons, one a long time member, and the other a very new member. Here are their (slightly edited) responses:
If I think back to when I joined Cape Town G & S Society in the early ‘70’s, I had no specific love of G & S at all – indeed, I knew very little about the genre. All I knew was that I enjoyed singing and that it was an outlet to do just that. Moreover given the fact that I was “a man!” and men were in very short supply (sometimes prior to my joining, the society had women dressed as men) and that I thus never had to audition – merely appear!! However, the average age of the people in the shows at that time was about 22 so the social life was hectic and the various society gatherings just became another excuse to have a party – and party we did at full pace! We made posters, we put up posters on poles, we built sets, we sewed costumes, we moved scenery between scenes on stage, we moved the piano on the back of a bakkie to the various venues, we did everything ourselves. We all grew to love G & S music, the nuances of Gilbert’s language, the traditions of how certain situations in shows were to be acted out – it bound us together in an orgy of friendship! I think the love of G & S and the love of the Society’s characters and people are all bound together. There was much hard work but it was exhilarating stuff and all fun with magic memories. Rogan Earp-Jones
I’m 26 years old and a huge fan of Gilbert and Sullivan. I saw the Yeomen of the Guard production twice – what an amazing performance! I only wish I could see it again. I love Gilbert and Sullivan most of all for Gilbert’s genius. He used comedy to poke fun at the very core of British society at the time, and occasionally he hid nuggets of deep truth between. There is a belief that only “old people” can enjoy Gilbert and Sullivan, but I disagree. Over a century later, Gilbert and Sullivan remains relevant, and I’ve introduced it to many of my 20 something friends. Admittedly it’ll never be entertaining to frat boys or similar, but satire as brilliant as this never really goes out of style. In the Victorian era, Sullivan was believed to be the genius. Now, I think, we can see who the true genius was. Sullivan’s music fits, but Gilbert is the reason these operettas have lasted and will continue to last. Laura Shortridge
(Laura asks if anyone still has recordings of the old BBC radio version of the Gilbert and Sullivan story. She has a few episodes but is missing quite a lot of it. If you can help, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Laura.)
Peter Kramer, known to many of us through his participation in a number of our shows, has a wide range of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas available on DVD, from multi-opera boxed sets, to Opera Australia productions, and even a Mikado with Groucho Marx as Ko-Ko. Contact him on dynamite@sybaweb.co.za
Welcome to Johan Stapelberg, Luke Brown, Laura Shortridge and Julie Reznekov who have recently become members of the Society. We hope to meet you at the AGM and/or the auditions.
That will do it for this edition. Do look out for the audition notice and the official notice for the AGM.
EXCO: Steve Broekmann – chair Niel Roux – Hon. Secretary Graham Ellis – Hon. Treasurer Ken Leverton – Vice chair, Gaslight David Bolton – Marketing Guilma Stander – Membership and Social Ian Kirkwood – Membership Alastair Cockburn – Productions Glenda Carmichael – Social Anthony Storr Lister – Archives Waldo Buckle – Website, Marketing

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VOLUME 19, ISSUE 3 – MAY 2012

Hello everyone
We have a song to sing, O! … well several songs, actually. And we’ll start singing them in the Artscape Theatre on Saturday 16 June. We take it for granted that you will all make a point of being in the audience at some stage. Unfortunately, for various reasons we have been very late in starting with the sale of Preferential tickets through cast members for this show. The consequence is that ticket sales in general have been very slow so far, and we really need you to book soon, and encourage your family,
friends, colleagues, acquaintances, doctor, dentist, chiropodist, physiotherapist, plumber, and that guy you met in the lift today, to come and see the show. We can promise you something special.

Ticket prices from Computicket, for all shows are R195, R150 and R130.

A purchase through a cast member will save you R20 on each ticket.

Performance dates: Saturday 16 June (evening at 19.30), Sunday 17th (matinee at 14.30), Tuesday 19th,
Wednesday 20th, Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd (all evening), Sunday 24 (matinee), Wednesday 27th, Thursday
28th, Friday 29th (all evening), Saturday 30th (matinee and evening), Sunday 1st July (matinee).

Once the Cape Town run is complete, the cast will have a two week break before reassembling so that Teddy
can restage the show for the International Festival of Gilbert and Sullivan in Buxton in the UK. Our
performance there is scheduled for 16 August. Immediately afterwards, with costumes and make-up
removed, we perform a ‘cabaret’ concert for the patrons, and this too needs to be well rehearsed. So the
cast has a busy time of it over the next few weeks!

Our Musical Director, Alastair Cockburn, fills in a little more background to Yeomen of the Guard – and this is no tale of cock and bull!

It is interesting to note that the Cape Town G&S Society’s roots go back to a production of “Yeomen” in 1947 when it was staged, quite possibly as a tribute to the visit of the Royal Family to Cape Town in the same year. Princess Elizabeth celebrated her 21st birthday in Cape Town while they were visiting here. And now, the G&S Society is 65 years old and we are once again doing “Yeomen” and honouring Queen Elizabeth in her jubilee year of 60 years on the throne.

I recently came across an excellent and very beautiful CD recording of “Yeomen” by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner. A while ago, I was privileged to be able to discuss the opera and this recording with Sir Neville who was on holiday in Cape Town. He spoke very highly of the calibre of this G&S work in particular and also of its important place in British opera as probably the only performed example of more “serious” British opera from the Romantic Era. It is also interesting to note that in its first year in 1888, apart from several international productions in the English speaking world in countries as far afield as Australia and North America, two different productions of “Yeomen” were also staged in Europe in German translations. (I’d love to know how they translated “cock and bull”!)

“The Yeomen of the Guard” has an excellent plot set in the Tower of London in the 1500’s and comprises
wonderful choruses, beautiful ensembles including several trios and quartets, and memorable arias for the
principal characters. The overture is a fine instrumental piece in its own right and unlike the overtures of most of the other G&S operettas which Sullivan entrusted to musical assistants, this overture is Sullivan’s own original work. It is structurally assembled in classical overture form rather than following the often-used practice of stringing melodies along from the opera in question in potpourri fashion. The opening theme of the overture is a sort of “leitmotif” which Sullivan uses to great effect in the opera to depict the grandeur and majesty of the Tower of London. Although this opera does include much of the Gilbertian humour and comedy one has come to expect from the G&S oeuvre, it is untypically of a more intelligent nature with none of the fun but often “silly” situations found in their other works. And “Yeomen” is also the only G&S opera which is ultimately a “tragedy”.

It is interesting to note the importance being placed on “Yeomen” in the UK this year, probably due to the
Queen’s Jubilee. In April, a semi-staged version was presented by the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the
Royal Festival Hall in London and in August (three days after the Cape Town G&S Society’s performance in
Buxton) the BBC Orchestra will present a semi-staged version of “Yeomen” as part of the famous proms series at the Royal Albert Hall in London. This performance will be conducted by Jane Glover, a very fine and wellknown conductor of opera in the UK and USA, particularly known for her fine readings of Mozart’s operas.

And then the Classic FM radio station in the UK recently held a competition in which the world’s 300 greatest pieces of classical music were voted on by their many thousands of listeners. The overture to “The Yeomen of the Guard” featured as one of these works.

Here in Cape Town, we are thrilled to be presenting a traditional production accompanied by the Cape
Philharmonic Orchestra which promises to be a treat. Rehearsals are going well and the set construction is
underway and looking fabulous – a real dramatic depiction of the famous “Tower of London”.

So now you know!

Rehearsals have been marked by Teddy doing a fine impromptu impersonation of the Marx brothers, by two
Yeomen getting their pikes entangled as they made their way in opposite directions across the floor and
nearly yanking each other off their feet (if that happens during a performance, that alone will be worth the price of a ticket!), by Linda trying valiantly to persuade a bunch of uncoordinated Yeomen that there is a difference between up and down and here and there, and by a number of males in the cast beginning to look somewhat disreputable, dishevelled, dissolute even, as they endure the early stages of “unshavenness”.

And now for something completely different …

Congratulations to Nigel Sweet (disreputable Yeoman) who married his partner of 36 years (Yvonne Copley, who has directed a couple of shows for G&S). As Anthony said: You mad, impetuous thing you! Many blessings on the both of you from all of us.


Milnerton Players present SECOND TIME AROUND. A funny and challenging play involving quick changes of character and costume, with Michelle Galloway and James King, and Gordon Molloy directing. 18-26 May. Bookings: Shiela McCormick 021 5573206 or chairperson@milnertonplayers.com

Muizenberg Dramatic Society presents Season’s Greetings directed by Coleen van Staden, from 1 – 9 June
at the Masque Theatre. Masque bookings: 021 788 1898

Pinelands Players present Shout, The Mod Musical in the Pinelands Town Hall from 16-29 July. I’ll give you booking details next time.

Please note: Annual subscriptions are now overdue. These have been set at R90 single, R120 for a couple
or family, and R60 for pensioners and students. These may be paid by cheque made out to “Cape Town
Gilbert and Sullivan Society”, or by EFT.

Life is unquestionably a boon, so make sure that with happiness your soul is cloyed by coming to see the
show. Banish your timidity, and with all rapidity, make your way to the Artscape Theatre. When you do,
bear in mind that there are one or two rules (not as many as half a dozen), foremost of which is the
requirement for enthusiastic applause, followed closely by persuading everyone you know to come along as

See you there.


EXCO 2012

Steve Broekmann – Chair
Niel Roux – Secretary
Graham Ellis – Treasurer
Ken Leverton – Vice Chair and Gaslight
David Bolton – Marketing and Outreach
Guilma Stander – Membership and Socials
Ian Kirkwood – Membership
Glenda Carmichael – Socials
Alastair Cockburn – Productions
Anthony Storr Lister – Library and memorabilia
Waldo Buckle – Outreach and Marketing

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Hello everyone
In each issue of GASLIGHT I try to include something with a “Gilbert and Sullivan flavour”. After all, we are a “Gilbert and Sullivan Society”, so that seems only right, and there may be some who know very little about our venerable fathers in music and opera, or the operas which they wrote.

Now, we all make mistakes – some of us, admittedly, more often than others! And even our patriarchs G&S
were not exempt. One of their more glaring errors involves “The Yeomen of the Guard”.

The actual “Yeomen of the Guard” is the oldest British military corps still in existence and dates from 1485, and their responsibility is primarily to act as a royal bodyguard. They should not be confused with the Yeomen Warders of the Tower of London, who are the worthies around whom our opera revolves. Their responsibilities are to guard any prisoners in the Tower – in rather short supply in more recent times – and to guard the crown jewels. Apart from all that hard work, their other function these days is to act as Tour Guides.

They are – for a reason lost in antiquity – also known as Beefeaters. Some suggest that it is because as part of their pay, they used to receive a ration of beef from the king’s table. That suggestion may be up for debate. Not up for debate, however, is that in naming their opera, G&S boobed!

The Yeomen – of both kinds – still wear a uniform which dates from Tudor times, and they are drawn from
retired members of the British military services. In 2007, the first female Yeoman Warder was admitted.
Clearly nothing is sacred anymore!

Getting to know you party.

On Sunday 5 February, the buzz amongst cast members of the show was palpable as we assembled for a tea party with the Queen in the foyer of the Artscape Theatre. Her Majesty duly arrived, escorted by one of her noble Yeomen. After reflecting warmly on her previous visit as a young woman to this country, and the fact that she was now celebrating her diamond jubilee, she proceeded to extend an exceedingly gracious welcome to “her Tower”.

Cast members were introduced, a model of the proposed set was on display, and cucumber sandwiches were consumed at a great rate. A fun afternoon, and a worthy preparation for the hard work to follow – which began the very next evening with the first rehearsal.

Flytower banner
If you haven’t already noticed, next time you drive along the Foreshore, look towards the Artscape
complex, where you’ll see this very striking banner informing all in the city of what’s to come.

Congratulations to Pinelands Players for doing so well at the awards ceremony. Nice to see that some of the winners were people we know well! Our own production of Fiddler was not overlooked, and congratulations go to Alastair Cockburn, Ami-Rose Barber, David Bolton and the Chorus (!) on their awards. (That award for the chorus was for their ensemble singing of Anatevka.) To those who were nominated but did not receive an award, we remain proud of you and are happy to bask – just a little – in your glory. We know well that even to receive a nomination is no mean feat.

Our AGM on Tuesday 13 March began with our annual award ceremony.

Our stars for 2011 are:

nominated: Shaun Browne, David Bolton and Michelle Galloway, with the award going to Shaun Browne, for
his wonderful portrayal of Tevye.

OR A MUSICAL: Nominees were John Carne and Michelle Galloway. The cup was awarded to Michelle
Galloway, for her excellent portrayals of both Yente and Golde, and for alternating the parts so successfully.

SULLIVAN OPERA OR A MUSICAL: Nominees were Darryl Spijkers, Alison King, Morag Tison and Roxy Levy.
The award went to Darryl Spijkers, for his performance as the Fiddler, which was such a significant
enhancement to the production.

CERTIFICATES OF MERIT: Certificates of merit were presented to Daniel Fisher for his singing of “Now I Have Everything”; to Amy Rose Barber for her moving singing of “Far From the Home I Love”; to Keenan Oliphant for his wonderful singing of “Miracle of Miracles”, and to Brian de Kock for his extremely successful off-the-beat dancing in the wedding scene.

The Peter Donaldson Award for service above the usual call of duty went to Lance Kotze, for his painstaking, inspired and successful management of the preferential bookings.

The Johan Roux Award, for a contribution to the spirit of the Society, went to Audrey Robinson, with
particular mention made of the personal care and attention she has given to all the members.

Honorary Life Membership was bestowed on Alison King for her long years of service as a very effective
Props Mistress.

Honorary Vice Presidency for the year 2012: A joint award to Audrey Robinson and Adrian Van Stolk.

EXCO 2012: The Chairperson’s and Treasurer’s reports were followed by elections for the Executive
Committee for 2012. Members are elected for a two year term, meaning that Steve Broekmann (Chair), Ian
Kirkwood, David Bolton and Guilma Stander continue in office. Niel Roux was re-elected as secretary and,
with Lance Kotze standing down as Treasurer, Graham Ellis was elected in his place. Additional members
duly elected were Alastair Cockburn, Glenda Carmichael, Anthony Storr-Lister and Ken Leverton. Thanks
were extended to those members stepping down: Lance, Lynn Moss and Audrey Robinson.

Please note: Annual subscriptions are now due. These have been set at R90 single, R120 for a couple or
family, and R60 for pensioners and students. These may be paid by cheque made out to “Cape Town Gilbert
and Sullivan Society”, or by EFT.

The reference should be SUBS 2012, and your name.

Frederic’s birthday.
Some 50 members gathered at Lorna’s home on 29th February to celebrate Frederic’s 39th birthday. We poured the pirate sherry, had a bobotie supper, tucked into a massive skull and crossbones chocolate cake, sang great tracts of Pirates (surprisingly well remembered!) and generally indulged ourselves.

Thanks to hosts Lorna and Poul, pianist Helen and conductor Alastair. And while on the subject of thanks – it was noted that our Chair was setting a fine example in tackling the washing up at one stage, as were Glenda C, Ann Ellis and in particular Yolla, who stayed to help tidy up long after everyone else had left. On behalf of us all, thank you.

Lorna reports that, out of interest, she put a message on Savoynet to ask what various G&S organisations
around the world had done to honour our Fred. It seems that about four societies, who are in the process of rehearsing other shows, simply sang “Happy Birthday” at their rehearsals. One of them had cake as well.
The Jerusalem G&S Society were doing a semi-staged version of “Trial by Jury”, so they added in some
excerpts from “Pirates”. We are the only lunatics who had a full-on supper for 50, with birthday cake and a pot-luck performance of “Pirates”. Yayy, Cape Town!


Preeoudly Seeouff Effriken: This musical revue of South African artists, based on the Springbok Radio hit parade of the 60s, 70s and 80s, is by David Bolton, and had a successful run for Pinelands Players a couple of years ago. David has offered to reprise the show to help us raise funds to offset the
costs of going to Buxton. So it is important that we give it our full support! It will run from 18-21 April in the Milnerton High School Auditorium. Tickets are R145 and include a three course meal. They can be obtained from Yeomen cast members, or from Lance at lance.kotze@gmail.com

13 to 21 April The Winslow Boy at the Masque. Aubrey Hindle directs this Terence Rattigan classic for
Fish Hoek Dramatic Society. Masque bookings: 021 788 1898

Milnerton Players present SECOND TIME AROUND. A funny and challenging play involving quick changes of character and costume, with Michelle Galloway and James King, and Gordon Molloy directing. 18-26 May. Bookings open 20 April.

There’s still time to catch Darryl Spijkers’ Le Moulin Rouge at the Spier Wine Farm from 22-24 March. An
epic journey of the human spirit including 14 full dance numbers, 16 songs and a total cast of 101, the story is sure to live on in your heart long after the curtain falls. Book through Computicket.
And I guess that will do it for this time. Take care everyone.


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Hello everyone
Here’s hoping 2012 will be a good year for you and for our Society. The holidays are well behind us and it’s back to the oh-so-serious business of work and responsibilities, so it’s good to be able to look forward to the prospect of a lot of fun as we get stuck into YEOMEN. Speaking of which …


The Cast has been settled and after a “Getting to know you” English tea party (at the invitation of the Queen, no less!) on 5th February, rehearsals get under way the next day! The Production team includes Teddy Davies as Director, Alastair Cockburn as Musical Director, choreography by Linda Gawronsky, and Bronwyn Scott as Stage Manager. Principal roles have been allocated as follows:

Sir Richard Cholmondeley Wyno Symes
Sgt. Meryll Stephan Le Roux
Jack Point Graham Boxall
Wilfred Shadbolt David Bolton
Col. Fairfax Ferdi Oosthuizen
Leonard Meryll Roderick Jaipal
Elsie Maynard Liesl Hartje
Phoebe Meryll Lara Milne
Dame Carruthers. Adri Louw
Kate Sian Atterbury

YEOMEN : Isak Viljoen, Shaun Holley, Anthony Storr-Lister, Derek Foster, Ken Leverton, Rehan Cloete, Steve
Broekman, Graham Ellis, Richard Whittaker, Gary Collins, Charles Meltzer, Waldo Buckle, Gerald Paris, Fanie Fourie.

CHORUS OF LONDONERS: Anke Ermel, Victoria Harris, Lorna Hansen, Cindy Nixon, Paige Bolton, Veronica
Miller, Ami-Rose Barber, Mariza Dique, Linda Thompson, Jonel Oosthuizen, Helena Comitis, Kirsty du Plessis, Linda Gawronsky, Marjorie Gibson, Andrea Benkenstein, Guilma Stander, Glenda Carmichael, Roche Buckle, Nicola Horak, Audrey Robinson, Philippa van Ryneveld, Justin de Vries, Douglas Middlebrook, Adrian Kettle,Dane Marais, John Lambrou, James Maritz, Alex Middlebrook, Darryl Spijkers, Adam Cousins, Christopher King, Zayne Cassiem, Ted Faulkner.

Congratulations to one and all, and especially to those who have been cast in a G&S production for
the first time.

The nominations for the Cape Amateur Theatre Awards have been made, with a good sprinkling of candidates from FIDDLER. Our G&S nominees are:

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A PLAY OR MUSICAL – Phoebe Snayer, Ami-Rose Barber, Claire Simonis, Kate Olmesdahl
BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY OR MUSICAL – Julie Dickson, Michelle Galloway
BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY OR MUSICAL – David Bolton, Shaun Browne
Warm congratulations to you all, and whether you win or not, we’re proud of you. Congratulations too to a number of our G&S members who have been nominated for work they have done for other Societies. We are delighted for you and wish you well at the awards ceremony, which is to be held on Monday 12 March at 19.00 at the Masque Theatre.

It’s that time of year again when we need to elect/re-elect members to the Executive Committee. The date is
to be Tuesday 13 March, and the venue is the Pinelands Club in Lonsdale Way, off Forest Drive in Pinelands
(turn off near the High School). This will be a good time to pay subscriptions, as only paid-up members are
eligible to vote.
A formal notice of meeting will be distributed nearer the time. The meeting includes the presentation of
Society awards. Please make an effort to be present. (There is a cash bar if an extra incentive is required!)

Well done to Pinelands Players (including many known to us in G&S) for a rollicking performance of HONK on
16 December. Those of our number who attended the pre-show social were well looked after – eventually. A
little glitch in the arrangements nearly meant we all went hungry, but Guilma and her team, through a
combination of no-nonsense aggro (!) and supreme creativity, persuaded the defaulting suppliers to make
good. And so, eventually, a good time was had by all.

Teardown report back
On the stifling evening of Tuesday 17 January, our Treasurer Lance Kotze presented the Production accounts
for FIDDLER. Apart from a gratifying surplus, we also heard that a total of some 20 000 people had seen
FIDDLER – a record for any G&S show. And at the final matinee, well over 1200 people were present in the
Opera House – again a record for any single G&S performance. Once more, well done and thank you to all

Frederic’s birthday. All G&S diehards know what this is about, but there are a number of newcomers who have joined us for Annie, Fiddler and now Yeomen, who may not know what’s going on. A word of explanation is therefore in order:

The “Pirates of Penzance” opens with a band of pirates celebrating the coming of age of Frederic, who has now completed his apprenticeship and becomes a fullyfledged member of the pirate crew. However, Frederic, a ‘slave of duty’, puts a damper on proceedings by announcing that now that he is out of his indentures, he must, if he is to do the right thing, actively seek to exterminate the pirates, especially since he was
not actually intended to be a pirate in the first place. His father wanted him to be apprenticed to a pilot, but his nursemaid, being hard of hearing, mistook her instructions and instead apprenticed him to a pirate until his 21st birthday. Now that Frederic is 21, he plans to leave the pirates and pursue some more honourable occupation. In his quest to exterminate the pirates, he enlists the help of a bunch of policemen and Major-General Stanley (and his bevy of beautiful daughters).

While waiting for the policemen’s arrival, the Pirate King and Frederic’s former nursemaid (she of the hearing deficiency) inform Frederic that he has been freed from his indentures in error, and that he is still legally and morally bound to the pirates. For though it is true that Frederic has lived 21 years, the terms of his apprenticeship are that he be indentured until his 21st birthday. And the problem is that Frederic was born in leap year on the 29th February, and therefore, counting by birthdays, Frederic is only five and a little bit over. Frederic’s sense of duty forces him to accept this paradoxical situation and so he finds himself back in the pirate fold. However, he has by this stage also set in motion the forces of law and order against the pirates, and it takes a typical Gilbertian contrivance to sort out the confusion and bring things to a happy ending.

Marking Frederic’s birthday is one of the somewhat quirky things that Gilbert and Sullivan Societies the world over tend to do. And why should we be any different? So please note that you are invited to celebrate Frederic’s birthday on Wednesday, 29th February, at the home of Lorna Hansen, 15 Burnside Road, Tamboerskloof, from 19.30. The evening will include a birthday cake (of course), singing some excerpts from Pirates, and of course a rousing rendition of the Society’s anthem. A light supper will be provided, but bring your own drinks. If you want supper, it is essential that you RSVP to Lorna by Friday 17 February.


From 10-18 February, MADS presents The Breakfast Club, at the Masque. Directed by Raymond Rudolph.

23-25 February, Pinelands Players are taking HONK! to the Masque.

9-17 March, also at the Masque, Claremont Dramatic Society presents Marvin’s Room. Directed by Brenda Gray.

All Masque bookings: 021 788 1898

And finally – rumour has it that one Ferdi Oosthuizen sang on stage with Josh Grobin during the latter’s concert in Cape Town recently – and that rumour has definitely not been ‘prodigiously exaggerated’ either. What say you, Col. Fairfax? Can you top that?

That’s it for now. Till next time, may life be indeed a boon.


Steve Broekmann – chair Niel Roux – Hon. Secretary
Lance Kotze – Hon. Treasurer Ken Leverton – Vice chair, Gaslight
Audrey Robinson – Social Guilma Stander – Membership and Social
David Bolton – Marketing Lynn Moss – Productions
Ian Kirkwood – Membership
Website: http://www.gilbertandsullivan.co.za

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