of the Abbots Langley Gilbert & Sullivan Society
Our yearly programme generally includes a full scale operetta performed at the Palace Theatre in Watford and a summer show or concert that we give in the village of Abbots Langley (also with new Summer venues to be looked into from 2014).
Chorus rehearsals usually take place on Monday nights, with principals being rehearsed on Fridays. These can change from time to time, but in general we don’t ask chorus to attend a rehearsal more than once a week until nearer the show. Depending on the nature of our main show, rehearsals get more intense as we lead up to the first night with 2-3 possible Sundays included in the schedule. A typical show week consists of a band call & tech rehearsal on the Sunday, dress rehearsal on Monday evening, followed by performances Tuesday through to Saturday (including a Saturday Matinee). For the summer concert / show the schedule is not usually so demanding, and the show week is often from Tuesday or Wednesday to the Saturday night.
We consider ourselves very lucky in that we have been able to perform our main G&S production at the Palace Theatre in Watford each year, and that in previous years we have been invited to take part in the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in the Buxton Opera House. We have been nominated for many of the festival awards over the years and in 2008 we came 2nd runners up in the festival for our production of ‘Ruddigore’. A few of our members have also been nominated for or have won a variety of performance awards.
Our smaller production takes place in the summer. In June 2012 we performed again as part of the ALFA (Abbots Langley Festival of the Arts) festival in the village with ‘Music of Life’ (a highly successful modern musicals concert based on music from birth to old age) and in 2009 we put on the highly acclaimed production of the show ‘Jack The Ripper’. 2011 saw us changing our pace a little by performing a play with music, entitled ‘Sullivan and Gilbert’. We have also performed concerts and ‘Old Time Music Halls’, and this range of production means that we really do have something to meet everyone’s taste!
… we continued our tradition of an annual Gilbert & Sullivan at the Palace Theatre in January, by performing a very successful production of ‘Patience’. This production was changed somewhat from the original, and excitingly updated to the time of the 2nd World War, with Home Guard & Land Girls setting the scene. In the Summer we then staged the delightful musical ‘HONK!’ at the Henderson Hall, Abbots Langley. This was a wonderful refreshing musical based on the story of the ‘Ugly Duckling’, with some great songs and great characters, and we also introduced 2 teams of ‘ducklings’ to our cast list, encouraging the younger generation to our fold.
We are back at the Palace Theatre Watford in January with a very exciting production of the classic G&S operatta ‘The Yeomen of the Guard’. This sees the return of one of our regular MDs and our Chairman, Philip Joslin, and is being directed by the critically acclaimed Clive Bebe.
Current performing membership costs £100 per year, payable in installments. We pride ourselves on NOT charging show fees.
The membership fee entitles the member to take part in rehearsals and any shows performed during the year (which runs from beginning of July to end of June). Very occasionally restrictions are placed on chorus numbers (the Palace Theatre stage is not huge) but this is quite rare. Members also receive a regular newsletter.
There are also other levels of membership, including Non-Performing, Student and Friend. These have a lower membership fee. We also have a Patron’s scheme. More information on which can be found here.
The society arranges many social activities for all its membership, including Dinner Dances, Quiz nights, Summer BBQs, and the like. We have also arranged theatre trips to London or to see members perform in other shows in the area.
Do come and see us at one of our next rehearsals; we will be delighted to meet you.
We mainly rehearse in the Baptist Church in Abbots Langley (School Mead), but on occasion we rehearse at the St Lawrence Church Hall, Henderson Hall or Divine Saviour School, all in Abbots Langley. Do let us know if you plan to come (by emailing or calling me – details below) and if for any reason you cannot find me on that night, any member of the Executive Committee will be happy to see you and introduce you to other members of the society.
Emma Stratton – Membership Secretary 07967 752311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org