Day 7 - Tuesday 4 August

Today's events:
  • Chatsworth House sightseeing tour
  • Singing in Poole's Cavern with the Savoynetters
  • Ruddigore - Oxford University G&S Society
  • Festival Club with cabaret from Oxford University
  • Contents:
  • Poole's Cavern Sing
  • Ruddigore
  • The Festival Club

  • Poole's Cavern Sing with the Savoynetters

    This afternoon, the Savoynetters assembled at Poole's Cavern and Country Park for the long awaited Cavern Sing. Poole's Cavern is a natural limestone cave through which flows the Derbyshire River Wye before emerging to the surface at the beginning of the Pavilion gardens in Buxton. There is evidence of human use of the cavern from 3000 years ago, as well as Roman and more recent use. It has been open to the public since 1853, but some walls contain grafitti from the 16th century.

    We structured the sing into two parts, each expected to run for 10-15 minutes, so two groups of cavern tourists could hear us.

    As it was not possible to bring a piano, a pitch pipe was used, and musical transistions in several pieces were provided by Sharon Brindle on flute and Paul Scott on oboe.

    Roughly 30 Savoynetters sang Hail Poetry at the cavern entrance, then entered, preceeded by a cavern guide. After pausing at the "Poached egg chamber" to sing "Brightly Dawns Our Wedding Day" and "A Nice Dilemma," we moved to the innermost accessible portion of the Cavern for the remainder of the sing. Pieces presented included:

    We were later told that people could hear the singing throughout the cavern and that quite a few had entered to various distances to listen to us. Most of them could not be seen from our location. Because of the rough wall surfaces, we did not experience the high reverberance within the cavern that some might have expected. This no doubt accounts in part for the good quality of the sound at considerable distance from our singing locations.

    After returning to the cavern entrance, we sang "Hail Poetry" for the final cavern tour group of the day. The Cavern staff were uniformly enthusiastic about the Cavern Sing and some said they would try to get to Savoynet Trial by Jury performance on Thursday. Some wag noted that this was the only festival related event at which Ian Smith did not make a pitch for the Festival. That service was performed by Stephen Hill at the urging of those surrounding him (i.e. he was thrust forward).

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    Picture of Savoynetters
    Hail Poetry

    Savoynetters at the mouth of Poole's Cavern

    The Savoynetters Orchestra (Sharon Brindle and Paul Scott) with Conductor (David Cound).
    Pay no attention to the woman on the right.
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    Picture of inside cave

    Ruddigore by Oxford University G&S Society

    Directors: Rachel Phillippo and Martin Lamb
    Musical Director: James McCullagh

    The Oxford University Gilbert & Sullivan Society has been thriving in its current form for 30 years.

    A review by Nick Sales

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    Picture of Rose, Dick, Robin
    His Hornpipe is the talk of the Fleet

    Rose Maybud (Kathleen Rice-Oxley), Dick Duntless (David Menezes - wearing his Grandfather's naval uniform) and Robin Oakapple (Ben Newhouse-Smith).

    Ought I to tell your Honour this?

    Dick Dauntless with Sir Despard Murgatroyd (Martin Lamb)

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    Picture of Dick and Dauntless

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    Picture of
    When the Buds are Blossoming

    (Note the 20's style ladies costumes.)

    Here is a flag that none dare defy
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    Picture of Dick and Girls

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    Picture of Matter trio
    Matter Trio

    Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, Despard Murgatroyd and Mad Margaret (Rachel Phillippo)

    There grew a little flower

    Sir Roderick Murgatroyd (Anthony Sutcliffe) and Dame Hannah (Lynnette Petersen)

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    Picture of Hannah and Roderick

    The Festival Club with Cabaret by Oxford University G&S Society

    A delightfully varied program was presented for the delectation of those present. High spots included Martin Lamb's wonderful rendition of "The Road to Mandalay," and a song entitled "Very Boring," sung by David Menezes, Ben Newhouse-Smith, and Matthew Rogers.

    Above all, the audiences seem to want to be entertained, which is why Oxford's Cabaret was so very well received.

    by Nick Sales

    Page updated 5 August 1998