About Us

History of The Leicester G&S Society

The Leicester Gilbert & Sullivan Operatic Society started in Blaby, back in 1946. Miss Alice Hall purchased a large ex-Army hut and donated the hut and land so that the residents of Blaby could use the building as a community centre, later nicknamed 'The Blaby Hippodrome'. She decided it might be a good idea to perform a bit of G&S to help raise funds and asked if Ron Elliott (a local volunteer) knew anyone who would be interested. Ron and his life-long friend Bruce Freckingham knew G&S inside out and offered their services.

This company performed four operas and, following a performance of Iolanthe in 1949, the company was going to be disbanded. Doris How, the producer of that production, thought it was a shame to lose an excellent company and her husband George, who was a member of the Old Wyggestonian Cricket Club, suggested that the society could continue by performing at the Wyggestonian Boys' School with the profit going to the Cricket Club.

The Gondoliers was performed in 1950 under the name of Doris How's company and that was the start of the society in its current form.

The Mikado was the opera in 1951 and, in 1952 the society transferred to the Little Theatre, where we have performed ever since. However, following a fire at the Little Theatre, there was no production in 1956 so the society went on tour, giving concerts at various venues including The Towers Hospital. In 1957, Patience was performed at the Y.M.C.A and the society then returned to Dover Street for Ruddigore in 1958.

We have performed at the Little Theatre ever since and are still going strong now, alternating each year between G&S operas and non-G&S musicals.

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Our Committee Members

Chairman - Rob Mayall

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Secretary - Di Gee

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Treasurer - Anya Squibb

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Member - Sarah Barratt

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Member - Hannah Hilton-Tapp

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Member - Nick Drury

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Member - Julia Sharp

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Member - Andy Barratt

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Member - Alison Johnson

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Production Team

Director - Michaela Colk-Thornton

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Michaela is our continuing director for this year's production. She studied at De Montfort University for a BA(Hons) in Performing Arts and Innovation and, alongside her work with the G&S society, is currently studying for her PGCE.

Musical Director - Ashley Bakewell

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Ash is our new musical director for this year's production. He has an extensive musical theatre background, both in performance and musical directing. His list of productions include our 2016 Oklahoma, our 2017 The Mikado and he has previously MDed HMS Pinafore and Ruddigore whilst at university studying Computer Science.