Peterborough Gilbert and Sullivan Players will be marking a few special anniversaries when they return to the stage with Iolanthe at the Key Theatre this month.
Eunice Crisp - the Players’ own “Queen” this year celebrates her 90th birthday (along with the Monarch of course!). To make the occasion more special this year also sees the 50th Anniversary of Eunice playing The Fairy Queen in Peterborough Gilbert and Sullivan Players’ 1966 production of Iolanthe.
And the reasons to celebrate do not end there. In that 1966 production a very young Christine Eve made her Peterborough G&S debut in the Ladies’ Chorus. This year Christine (now Christine Anson) will be playing . .. yes. you guessed it . . . The Fairy Queen!
In Iolanthe, the Players take a dig at ineffectual political rivalries with this satirical story about what happens when a band of fairies take over Parliament.
Featuring the tongue- twisting tour de force “Nightmare Song”, a pompous and dim-witted ruling elite, and a leading man who’s half a fairy – from the waist up! As always, Gilbert’s satire is delivered with such elegant absurdity that all you can do is laugh at how the more things change, the more they remain the same. The sounds of a full orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists bring Sullivan’s masterpiece to life, whilst Gilbert’s humour is as relevant today as it was when it was written.
You can see the show at the Key Theatre from September 21 to 24 and hear the rousing “Peers’ Chorus, the beautiful “None Shall Part Us” and the classic “Sentry’s Song” along with many other familiar melodies.
In 2016 the Players are supporting Anna’s Hope, the Stamford-based children’s brain tumour charity.
Anna’s Hope is passionate about making a difference to the lives of children and young people who have a brain tumour by providing support and rehabilitation during and after treatment and every penny donated goes to helping children with brain tumours.