Finest work in G&S canon comes to Aberdeen theatre

The current cast of Aberdeen Gilbert & Sullivan Society ranges from 18 to 80

BUILDING on the success of The Pirates of Penzance in 2023, Aberdeen Gilbert & Sullivan Society is bringing their 2024 production of The Yeomen of the Guard to The Tivoli Theatre stage on the 13th, 14th and 16th March 2024.

As with many Gilbert & Sullivan productions, it masterfully mixes comedy and tragedy into a complex caper of fantastical plots, unrequited love and high stakes, and is considered by many – including its own authors – as the finest work in the Gilbert and Sullivan canon.

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First staged at London’s Savoy Theatre in 1888 with an original run of over 400 performances, it has been described as the darkest, and perhaps most emotionally engaging, of the Savoy Operas.

Set in the Tower of London during the 16th century, the plot sees Colonel Fairfax wrongly accused of sorcery, imprisoned and sentenced to be beheaded within the hour. To avoid leaving his estate to his accuser he secretly marries Elsie Maynard, a strolling singer. Jester Jack Point is also in love with Elsie but agrees to the marriage knowing that Fairfax will soon be executed. However, Fairfax escapes, throwing the Tower into confusion and setting in motion a number of intriguing plot twists.

Emily Scott, Chairman of the society, commented: “We last performed this show in 2016 and are incredibly excited to return to the material. Yeomen has a real timeless quality and has been loved all over the world. This group has been bringing G&S shows to Aberdeen for almost fifty years and there’s a reason we keep returning to these stories and this music.”

The Aberdeen Gilbert & Sullivan Society is an independent performing arts group that have been performing since 1976, and has a reputation as one of the finest amateur operatic groups in the North East of Scotland. The group is unique in Aberdeen, as the only company currently performing full-scale Gilbert and Sullivan operettas on the local stage, with the current cast ranging in age from 18 to 80.

The Tivoli Theatre is one of Scotland’s most historic buildings, having been founded in 1872 as Her Majesty’s Opera House. It hosted some of the world’s best-known performers such as Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and W.C Fields. It was bought by the Tivoli Theatre Company Ltd in 2009, who have completely restored the building while at the same time protecting the historic auditorium.

Tickets for The Yeomen of the Guard can be purchased from Aberdeen Performing Arts.

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