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GASLIGHT NEWSLETTER OF THE CAPE TOWN GILBERT AND SULLIVAN SOCIETY VOLUME 20, ISSUE 1 – FEBRUARY 2013

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. th Rehearsals will commence on 29 April 2013 and will initially be held 3 times a week with more being added th on a Saturday afternoon from July onwards. The production will move into the theatre on 7 October and the th last performance will be on Sunday, 10 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!


AGM 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.

CATA AWARDS 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 SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A PLAY OR MUSICAL – Sian Atterbury BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY OR MUSICAL – Liesl Hartje BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY OR MUSICAL – Graham Boxall and David Bolton BEST PLAY, BEST MUSICAL, MOST ADVENTUROUS PRODUCTION, BEST MUSICAL DIRECTOR, BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY, BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL – Teddy Davies and Alastair Cockburn.

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.

NEWS FROM SISTER SOCIETIES 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


WHY, OH WHY? RESPONSES: I GOT MAIL!! 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.)

G&S ON DVD 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 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.

Ken

EXCO: Steve Broekmann – chair Graham Ellis – Hon. Treasurer David Bolton – Marketing Ian Kirkwood – Membership Glenda Carmichael – Social Waldo Buckle – Website, Marketing

Niel Roux – Hon. Secretary Ken Leverton – Vice chair, Gaslight Guilma Stander – Membership and Social Alastair Cockburn – Productions Anthony Storr Lister – Archives


GASLIGHT 20.1