Live theatre again – the perfect antidote after a year of lockdown!

The International G&S Festival is raring to go in the summer opening on Saturday 31 July in Buxton Opera House, before moving to The Royal Hall, Harrogate until Wednesday 18 August.

If anything can lift the spirits, put a spring back in our step and a smile on our faces, it’s a jolly good dose of the topsy turvy world of Gilbert & Sullivan.  The wit, hilarity and downright silliness of W S Gilbert’s plots, is without question, a much-needed tonic in this strange new world.

The National G&S Opera Company opens the festival with the much-loved HMS Pinafore.  Simon Butteriss will direct and star in all-time favourite The Mikado, and the Opera Company will also bring along a brand-new production of Patience. 

Award-winning Charles Court Opera present their enchanting – and timely – production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s sharp satire of power, privilege and parliamentary democracy, Iolanthe. CCO also present two performances of their brand-new G&S Express in Harrogate – the complete works of Gilbert & Sullivan – in one show!

Forbear! Theatre, directed by rising talent, Rachel Middle brings The Pirates of Penzance and The Yeomen of the Guard. And for something completely different Simon Butteriss will present the Grossmith brothers’ comic masterpiece, The Diary of a Nobody, a best-selling novel since its publication in 1892. Butteriss has adapted the book into a hilarious solo show in which we will meet him as the hapless Charles Pooter, his headstrong wife Carrie, his wayward son Lupin and his not always supportive friends Cummings and Gowing.

COVID-19 restrictions do mean that the productions have to be adapted this year to ensure the safety of performers, audience members and backstage staff, but the Festival is confident that these necessary changes will not detract from the enjoyment of the performances.

Said Festival Director, Janet Smith ‘After the horrible year we have all endured, we cannot wait to get back into the theatre’.

There will be an additional fringe programme of morning talks, masterclasses and afternoon concerts in Buxton and Harrogate.

Find out more at the festival’s website.