The Grand Duke
Gilbert and Sullivan
The first fully staged professional UK production since 1896. As part of it's commitment to rediscovering forgotten theatre, The New Actors Company revived this neglected operetta by theatre's most well known writing duo.
Apart from a concert version produced by D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in the mid-seventies and a handful of amateur productions, Gilbert and Sullivan's final operetta, The Grand Duke, has not been seen in a fully staged professional production in the UK since the original production in 1896.
Directed by Martin Milnes
Musical Direction John Owen Edwards
Choreographer/ Assistant Director Brendan Matthew
Associate Choreographer Laura Hyde
Repetiteur/ Associate MD Ross Leadbeater
Designed by David Shields
Costume Design by The Costume Design House
In the Grand Duchy of Pfennig Halbpfennig, the theatrical troupe of Ernest Dummkopf is plotting a conspiracy to overthrow the tyrannical Grand Duke Rudolph. Ludwig, the troupe's leading comedian, fights a number of "statutory duels" and finds himself taking the place and the title of the Grand Duke...but when legions of women arrive to claim Ludwig in marriage to become his Grand Duchess, including an indignant leading lady, an enormously wealthy old battleaxe, and even the Princess of Monte Carlo, how will matters resolve themselves?
With the aid of an eclectic array of travelling players and aristocrats, four weddings and enough sausage rolls to last several lifetimes, Gilbert and Sullivan's final 'Savoy Opera' is full of Topsy Turvy paradoxes, legal conundrums and absurdities of etiquette. Far more than just a historical curiosity, The Grand Duke displays a much sharper satirical edge than any of Gilbert and Sullivan's other works.
This is the first fully staged British professional revival of this unloved comic opera... One can only salute the heroic dedication of director Martin Milnes and his 19-strong cast.
Sung with vibrant lustiness... The show, packed to the gills with devotees of this enterprising theatre’s musical rediscoveries, may yet strike a chord in our own grand duchy... What could be more appropriate for the era of Pastygate than a sausage-roll operetta?
The wonderful and large cast playing on this small stage and auditorium present a powerful exhibition of talent
One Stop Arts - Lindsay Stockley
"Martin Milnes' smashing production, wonderfully cast, ensured that 'The Grand Duke', newly-discovered, was a joy from start to finish."
It totally destroys the myth, once and for all, that Gilbert and Sullivan's last opera is a damp squib not worth reviving. On the contrary, the piece is a neglected classic.
In Martin Milnes' production The Grand Duke looks less like Gilbert and Sullivan's forgotten curiosity and more like an unduly neglected gem.