Saturday, 19 July 2014


Some photos from last night's PBGS BBQ at Brian's house. As you can see, we had a great evening. There would have been even more photos if I hadn't fallen backwards off a chair into the blackberries. And, yes, I am OK today! At least it made the BBQ even more memorable...

 Our Presidents Elected, Queen Ann and King Tony.

 Rob gets the loving feeling from Brian's pussy cat.

Everyone scans the ground for runaway sausages. OK - they are looking at the cat...

 Margaret shows that she's much more skilled at sitting in a white camp chair than I am!

 Richard takes on the role of Lord High Cook and mans the BBQ

 As well as Lord High Cook, Richard also played Quiz Master with some very tricksy questions about games and detectives.

 Concentrating on finding some answers...

 Still enjoying the Quiz

Tony wonders why he's the only one without a purple plate...

All photos © Sue Wookey

Monday, 7 July 2014

Valley of Song

Some of our PBGS members are over in Wolverton this week in Ivor Novello's Valley of Song which is being put on by Wolverton G&S:

7.30pm 10th to 12th July 2014
Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton Road MK12 5NJ
Box Office 01908 262250
'Wolverton Gilbert & Sullivan Society are proud to present Ivor Novello's very last musical, Valley of Song, playing from 10th to 12th of July 2014.
Left unfinished at the time of his sudden death, and completed by his longtime collaborator Christopher Hassall, Valley of Song is a unique opportunity to see a rarely performed Ivor Novello work upon the stage.
Set in a world of optimism on the eve of the Great War, Valley of Song is a homage to Wales - Novello's homeland - and a touching farewell to the music of his youth.
The Welsh Valleys, 1913. Nan Brewster is the largest landowner in the valley and supports the local valley choir, run by choirmaster David. David's love for Lily, his leading soprano, creates beautiful music for the choir. But when Lily is given an opportunity to sing in Venice, she jumps at the chance, and into the arms of Ricardo, a wealthy count set on making her an international star. But, by opening night, it becomes clear that Ricardo's intentions are not entirely honourable... As Europe is plunged into the First World War, how much is David willing to sacrifice for the woman he loves?'

Friday, 27 June 2014


Putteridge Bury’s Annual Summer BBQ 
18th July 2014

Friends and Family welcome 
From 7 pm at Brian's house, 125 Strathmore Avenue, Luton, LU1 3QW, Beds.

Cost will be £5 per person for a meat and/or vegetarian option which will be provided as well as some drinks. Please bring along either a side dish (salads, bread, snacks etc.) or a pudding (desserts, cakes etc.) and your favourite tipple and bring your friends and family along, it will be great fun. As this is also a Fundraiser the rest will go as a donation to Putteridge Bury G&S Society. There will also be a Quiz with a prize!

DVD SALE: Brian will have an extensive collection of DVDs on sale to raise money for Putteridge Bury.

Parking is available at the location in the street, but please be aware that you may have to park a bit further down the street.

Please reply to Nicole at until 11th July latest to confirm if you are coming and how many people you are bringing, so we know how much food to get. Also please let Nicole know if you require vegetarian food, so we know to cater for you.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Wardrobe and make-up help needed for Into the Woods

Shirley gets busy with the lipstick in 'Jack the Ripper'
Fancy being involved in our next production of Into the Woods but don't really want to tread the boards? We are looking for help with Costumes, Wigs and Make-up. These are vital roles and we are looking for people who are willing to attend some rehearsals and costume fittings nearer the show and be around through 5th-11th October, which is our show week. PBGS can't get on stage without all the extra help behind the scenes so you would be a valuable member of our team. Into the Woods is a production we are very excited about - both a big challenge for us and also a lot of fun!

If you would like to help please get in touch with Paula Fraser at


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

G & S Sing-a-long on 3rd May

Our G&S Singalong is fast approaching! The 3rd May will be the first ever Global Gilbert and Sullivan Day and PBGS is preparing a special celebration at Harlington Village Hall.

We have a programme put together, but there are still roles to fill so we'd love to hear from singers, not only from PBGS but also from other local groups, who'd like to join us on the day for solos or ensembles as well as joining in all those lovely choruses. Please contact Paula Fraser on or 07956 678720 if you'd like to join in as a singer or if you would like to order tickets as an audience member. Tickets to take part are £5 and there will be home baked refreshements.

There will be two opportunities to go through the music on Sunday 27th April from 3pm and Tuesday 29th April from 7.45pm at our usual rehearsal venue of Streatley Village Hall.

This will be a fun way to celebrate Gilbert and Sullivan in style by singing all our favourites, many of them as loudly as possible!


Monday, 14 April 2014

A Big Thank You to our Audiences!

Behind the scenes at the QMT
Thank you to all of you from all of us at PBGS for sharing a wonderful week and making The Mikado such a huge success.

So many of you came that we had the biggest audience we've had so far at the Queen Mother Theatre, and from all the laughter and cheering you all had a great time. As did we!!! It was lovely to see the theatre packed out and to play to you all.

We hope to see all of you again in October when we will be putting on Sondheim's acclaimed musical Into the Woods (see our poster on the right!). This is quite a departure for PBGS and will be a challenge. But it's one we know we'll rise to. Into the Woods is a wonderful show, and one that we know you will enjoy very much. After that we will be back to our G&S roots with an innovative production of HMS Pinafore in Spring 2015. As always, there is a lot to look forward to!

Behind the scenes at the QMT
Photos: © Sue Wookey

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Mikado opens this Wednesday!

Not long now! Our production of The Mikado opens this Wednesday and, as you can see from today's rehearsal, it's a really colourful show with some spectacular costumes! Tickets are selling really well - there are a few still available for each day, but there are plenty left for Wednesday so don't forget that tickets for Wednesday and the Saturday Matinee are cheaper at £11! So a good day to come if you are still undecided!

Booking is now being handled directly by the theatre and are available online:

Here are a couple more 'taster' photos:

Photos: © Sue Wookey

Monday, 31 March 2014

Mikado opens 9th April!

Nanki Poo, Yum Yum, Pitti Sing and Pooh Bah celebrate the' Flowers that Bloom in the Spring'
Just over a week to go before we open at The Queen Mother Theatre! We are all working hard brushing up on our fan work and the show has really come together ready for the stage.

The Mikado is full of musical highlights including Yum Yum's beautiful solo 'The Sun who's Rays', the Mikado's list of fitting punishments 'A More Humane Mikado', which amazingly was nearly cut by Gilbert at the Dress Rehearsal and only restored by a deputation from the D'Oyly Carte chorus, and the fast paced trio, 'Here's a How-de-do'. One of the most famous songs in the G&S canon, 'Tit Willow', is sung by a desperate Ko Ko to the object of his very reluctant attentions, the terrifying Katisha. The song was much parodied at the time and there was a lot of debate amongst ornithologists as to exactly which bird Gilbert meant, as willow tits didn't arrive in Britain until 1900. Most likely he just loved the sound of it. 'Tit Willow' has even been immortalised by Rowlf and an equally reluctant Sam the Eagle on The Muppets (thanks to Eve for sending the link). Click on the link below to see it on Youtube:

Tickets are selling fast so make sure you don't miss out. All tickets should now be ordered direct from the Queen Mother theatre: 


Monday, 24 March 2014

Time to order your Mikado tickets!

Mikado rehearsals are coming along apace, as you can see from these photos! This promises to be a fantastic show - we have a great cast, a very funny production and a wonderful set of traditional costumes (who can resist all that shuffling in kimonos?). This is Gilbert and Sullivan's most enduringly popular collaboration, a treat for G&S buffs and a great introduction to the cannon for those that have never seen a G&S before.

Tickets are selling like those proverbial hot-cakes, so be sure to book now to make sure you get the evenings and seats you want. There are several ordering options:

  • Place an order through the 'Order Tickets' button on the top right of this page

Photos: © Sue Wookey

Monday, 17 March 2014

G&S Singalong to celebrate World Gilbert and Sullivan Day!

The 3rd May will be the first ever Global Gilbert and Sullivan Day and PBGS is preparing a special celebration with a G&S Singalong at Harlington Village Hall.

We'd love to hear from singers from other local groups who'd like to join us on the day for solos or ensembles as well as joining in all those lovely choruses. Please contact Paula Fraser on or 07956 678720 if you'd like to join in as a singer or if you would like to order tickets as an audience member. Tickets to take part are £5 and there will be home baked refreshements (the Mary Berry effect gets everywhere...).

This will be a fun way to celebrate Gilbert and Sullivan in style by singing all our favourites, many of them as loudly as possible!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Local shows: Patience and Crazy for You

Our ever busy members are involved in two local shows this month. Paula and Jo are performing in Patience with Woverton G&S over at Stantonbury Campus:

7.30pm 25th to 29th March 2014
Stantonbury Campus Theatre, Stantonbury, Milton Keynes

And Louise is over with Harpenden Operatic performing in Crazy For You at Harpenden Public Halls:

24th to 29th March 2014
Harpenden Public Halls, Harpenden, Herts
Tel: 07817 331150
Buy online:

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Into the Woods cast

We have a nearly full cast for our October production of Into the Woods. Congratulations to everyone who was successful, the auditions were outstanding and we certainly made the Panel's job as difficult as possible!

The cast so far is as follows:
NARRATOR - Paul Blunt
THE WITCH - Paula Fraser
CINDERELLA - Alice Bridges
STEWARD - Barny Shergold
BAKER - Graham Breeze
BAKER’ WIFE - Zoe Jasko
JACK - Shayn Dickens
JACK’S MOTHER - Sue Wookey
RED RIDING HOOD - Rhiannon Gibbs
FLORINDA - Nicole Santlemann
LUCINDA - Catherine Harvey
There are four recalls which will take place at 7pm on Tuesday 11 March. If anyone wants to re-audition or audition for the first time for any of these parts, can they please contact Paula on
There are three further small speaking parts to cast. Anyone interested in any of the following should contact Paula on These parts may not be auditioned:

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Mikado Tickets now on sale!

Booking is now open for our next production of The Mikado, 9-12 April 2014 at the Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin.

'The Mikado' is Gilbert and Sullivan's best loved show, and if the fun we are having at rehearsals is anything to go by, definitely not one to be missed! This is a traditional production with gorgeous costumes, wonderful singing and enough intricate fan work to keep us all on our toes.

Tickets are now available direct from PBGS on 07946 264886. Please also ring this number for group discounts and special seating requirements. You can also email an order through this website by clicking on this link:

Ordering options:
  • Email an order through the button above (please include your phone number if you would like a call back)
  • Or ring PBGS on 07946 264886 
Downloadable PDF of our Mikado Booking Form 


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Into the Woods Auditions reminder!

Just a reminder that our Into The Woods auditions are this coming Sunday, 2nd March at 3pm. They are being held at Streatley Village Hall (see directions on our Contact Us page) and are open, so anyone can come and watch, and cheer the auditionees along.

Good luck, everyone!


Thursday, 30 January 2014

G & S Events at Watford Colosseum

Watford Colosseum have two events in February and June for Gilbert and Sullivan fans:

Friday Night is Music Night

Friday Night is Gilbert and Sullivan Night Special

Wed 26 February 2014
'Join BBC Radio 2’s Ken Bruce at Watford Colosseum for an evening of music and wit by those masters of the operetta – W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Their partnership spanned more than 25 years and in this special Friday Night is Music Night we feature many of their greatest hits including songs from The Mikado; HMS Pinafore; The Pirates of Penzance; Iolanthe; Patience, The Gondoliers, Ruddigore and The Yeomen of the Guard.'
Richard Balcombe conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra with guest soloists Sylvia Clarke, Heather Shipp, Oliver White, Bruce Graham and Simon Butteriss.

Tickets: £25.00*, £20.00*
Groups 10+ 10% off; groups 20+ 20% off

*A £1.50 per ticket booking fee applies, capped at six per order. Fee-free booking for Priority Members' Club members; Groups of 10+ please call 01923 474124 to buy fee-free.

Box Office 0845 075 3993

Watford Philharmonic Society – Gilbert and Sullivan  
Wednesday 18 June

Watford Philharmonic choir and orchestra present a selection of songs and music from four popular Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas.
'World famous in their lifetimes, Gilbert and Sullivan are still delighting today’s audiences with their humorous and satirical music. The evening comprises a selection of well-known pieces from The Mikado, Iolanthe, The Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore.'
Join Watford Philharmonic Society for a light-hearted evening’s entertainment at Watford Colosseum. Conductor: Terry Edwards

Tickets: £18.00*, £17.00*, £15.00*

18s and under: up to 2 at £1.00 each when purchased with a full-price ticket. Additional child tickets half price.*

*A £1.50 per ticket booking fee applies, capped at six per order. Fee-free booking for Priority Members' Club members; Groups of 10+ please call 01923 474124 to buy fee-free.

Box Office 0845 075 3993


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Into the Woods

Next autumn we will be following our current show, The Mikado, with Sondheim and Lapine's wonderful musical Into the Woods, 8-11 October 2014. As this is a show with a very big cast and is a new departure for PBGS we will be casting early!
  • There will be a launch night on Tuesday 28th January, 7.45pm at Streatley Village Hall. You will have a chance to hear all about the production from our Producer and MD.
  • This will be followed by auditions on Sunday 2nd March, 3pm at Streatley Village Hall
  • The first rehearsal will be on Tuesday 22nd April at 7.45, also at Streatley Village Hall. If you are new and would like to be involved in this production, either on stage or off, you will find full details on our Contact Us page. We would love to hear from you!
"An ambivalent Cinderella? A blood-thirsty Little Red Ridinghood? A Prince Charming with a roving eye? A Witch…who raps? They’re all among the cockeyed characters in James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s fractured fairy tale. When a Baker and his Wife learn they’ve been cursed with childlessness by the Witch next door, they embark on a quest for the special objects required to break the spell, swindling, lying to and stealing from Cinderella, Little Red, Rapunzel and Jack (the one who climbed the beanstalk). Everyone’s wish is granted at the end of Act One, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later, with disastrous results. What begins a lively irreverent fantasy in the style of The Princess Bride becomes a moving lesson about community responsibility and the stories we tell our children."
You will find a full synosis of Into the Woods on

© Josef Weinberger

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Rehearsals restart Jan 5th

Hope everyone has had a good Christmas break!  

Our rehearsals for The Mikado restart on Sunday 5th January, 3pm at Streatley Village Hall. This is a full company rehearsal to revise all the music and we will be singing without books, so time to dust off your copies and have a good look at them between now and then.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

PBGS 'One Show' Christmas Treat!

Attention all PBGS peeps - don't forget to watch the BBC's The One Show tomorrow night (Thur 19th) for a PBGS Christmas Fairy G&S treat!!! 

Fame at last : -)


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

PBGS Christmas Meal

PBGS had its annual Christmas Meal at the Raven at Hexton last night, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we had a wonderful time! Many thanks to Paula who organised it and made sure we had a great night out. For all of you who couldn't come, we missed you! Here are some photos of us all enjoying the pudding course (I won't name the indvidual who had more than one...). 10 brownie points to those still wearing their paper hats. If we don't see you next Tuesday at our last rehearsal of 2013 -

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 
(and learn those words...)

All photos: Sue Wookey