Gilbert and Sullivan Festival to return

Published: 20 April 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

Simon Butteriss who will appear in and direct the National G&S Opera Company production of The Mikado

The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, which had to be cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, is to go ahead in 2021, starting at Buxton Opera House and moving to the Royal Hall, Harrogate.

Festival director Janet Smith said, "after the horrible year we’ve all endured, we can’t wait to get back into the theatre. Our seating plan is socially distanced and only 40% of the usual seats are available, so we expect tickets to sell out quickly.

“We’ll have to wait to hear the government’s announcement on 21 June about easing restrictions when hopefully we’ll be allowed to open up more seats."

At the 2021 festival, the National G&S Opera Company will present HMS Pinafore, The Mikado featuring Simon Butteriss who also directs and a new production of Patience.

Charles Court Opera will stage its “enchanting” production of Iolanthe, Gilbert and Sullivan's “sharp satire of power, privilege and parliamentary democracy”, and will also present two performances of its new G&S Express in Harrogate: the complete works of Gilbert and Sullivan in one show.

Forbear! Theatre, directed by Rachel Middle, will stage productions of The Pirates of Penzance and The Yeomen of the Guard.

For something completely different, Butteriss has adapted The Diary of a Nobody, the comic masterpiece by George Grossmith and his brother Weedon, into a solo entertainment which can be seen in Buxton on Friday 6 August and Harrogate on Friday 13 August.

The festival will run in Buxton from Saturday 31 July until Saturday 7 August and in Harrogate from Sunday 8 until Wednesday 18 August. The full programmes are available at the Gilbert and Sullivan Festival web site.