Lazy Sunday, still suffering the post-show blues, and nothing to do (except Mount St. Washing-Up, but the less said about that the better...) so I thought I'd amuse myself with a nostalgic retrospective of my six years in the Gilbert and Sullivan society. This will be of interest to no-one, I'm sure, but I'll try and keep the cliquey anecdotes and plot summaries to a minimum!
2006 - The Gondoliers
The Gondoliers, like many G&S plotlines, involves secret love affairs and babies being mixed up at birth. Also kings, dukes, gondoliers, contadine and gratuitous bits of Italian lyrics. I was a fresh-faced fresher and had never heard of Messrs Gilbert and Sullivan, had never sung in parts, couldn't read music and was generally bewildered throughout rehearsals. Our production suffered a change of director mid-way through, we performed in a conference room with no stage, no lighting, no wings, no set and no dressing rooms, one of the leading ladies got pneumonia and couldn't go on, I mimed the whole way through and was too shy to squeak a word to any of the principals, and me and my fellow first-years had the time of our lives, became Gilbert and Sullivan geeks from that day on, and never looked back.
|I'm on the end of the row, and I must have known the notes for that bit, or else I'm miming rather convincingly!|
2007 - The Sorcerer and Dracula Unhinged
Unsurprisingly, The Sorcerer's about a sorcerer. Also disastrous love potions. Very silly and lots of fun. Onstage...
|I am on the table in the middle, about to fall out of my top by the looks of it.|
Slept on the party hostesses' living room floor that night, and three of us got a taxi home the following morning - looking like the above photograph. I'll say this for stage make-up - you can pass out on the living room floor in it, and wake up looking more or less the same as you did 16 hours earlier, when the curtain first rose!
This was the year we began doing second shows in the summer term, and our first one was an original script and G&S songs with new lyrics. It was about vampires, accountants, gravediggers and PhDs. The chorus were zombie newspaper reporters.
|With cat-like tread, beneath our graves we're found. We're all quite dead, but still we move around.|
2008 - The Mikado and Sherlock Holmes and the House of Almost Certain Death
Blah blah, usual G&S nonsense, but set in Japan this time. If our society had a budget for costumes we may have worn kimonos. But it hasn't, so we didn't.
|I am kneeling, behind the Three Little Maids.|
|Matt is amused by mine and Simon's camera faces. I'll have you know that's the finest acting NUGSS has to offer, young man!|
2010 - HMS Pinafore and A Tale of Liquor and Dice
It's 2010 and I'm a real grown-up with a job and lots of student debt, but still I cling on to my student days and G&S, because all the Gilbert and Sullivan alto parts are old ladies, and the only way a 23-year-old who still gets asked for ID in bars can get away with playing an old lady is in a student society where everybody else is nineteen... HMS Pinafore is my favourite G&S operetta (the babies-mixed-up-at-birth plotline is back, you'll be pleased to note) and I played poor, crushed Cousin Hebe.
|Me being a bad-tempered costumier in Act Two - all my own clothes!|