Issue 3
Back Issues:

  • Issue 1
  • Issue 2

    In this issue:

  • Give Three Cheers
  • Partial Eclipse
  • Sheila B Wright(s)
  • Focus on the Festival Adjudicator

    Let's give three cheers
    for the sailor's bride!

    Cousin Hebe and
    Captain Rackstraw get spliced

    A first for the Festival - A G&S Wedding. On Saturday 7 August Jane McBride married Andrew Pimm at the Registry Office in Chapel-en-le-Frith, near Buxton. Both working in Brussels, Jane and Andrew chose to tie the knot during the Festival when they came over to perform in the Brussel Light Opera production of HMS Pinafore. Jane, who played Hebe and Andrew, who played Ralph Rackstraw, wore their Act II costumes for the wedding. Several Savoynetters, in their Ruddigore bridesmaids costumes, were in attendance.

    "How shall we celebrate the
    commencement of our honeymoon?"

    Focus on the Festival Adjudicator

    David Turner in accustomed pose

    David Turner is Britain's most experienced adjudictor in musical theatre and his skillful, entertaining, diplomatic, courageous and at all times, sensitive critiques make him an obvious choice for the G&S Festival.

    In 1994 David was appointed artistic Director of the world's longest running play, The Mouse Trap and each year directs a new West End cast. David's work with students and amateurs has been exceptional and he holds the NODA Commendation Medal for his voluntary work in this field.

  • The threatened cloud
    has passed away!

    The moon starts to cover the sun's rays SavoyNetters Adrian Bridgman and Peter Withey view in safety

    Hundreds of visitors and Buxton residents gathered at the Pavilion Gardens bandstand to hear a selection of the many songs written by Gilbert & Sullivan that mention the weather. The occasion, of course, was the partial eclipse of the sun which reached its peak in Buxton at 11.18 on 11 August 1999.

    The selection was sung by enthusiastic Savoy devotees with a large audience seated in their deck chairs who enjoyed the unusual occasion. The weather was reasonably kind with the astronomical phenomenon observed through a light cloud cover. Everybody took heed of warnings of potential eye damage and watched through home-made pin hole devices. The temperature cooled and the sky took on an eerie hue.

    They sang choruses in public ... and they watched!
    Neil Smith (Festival Secretary)
    turns the pages for the accompanist
    while Tony Smith sings
    "When the night wind howls"


    One of the best things about Buxton is the compactness of the town. This makes it ideal for a Festival venue. While leaving space for the natives to go about their daily business and the tourists to take the waters, the Festival seems to encompass the whole area. The walk from Opera House to the shops or one's accommodation takes a bare few minutes and most of it is through festival flags and buntings.

    The opera house itself is a gem. A little Victorian theatre built on no less than 4 levels, it maintains a sense of intimacy no matter where one sits. It is beautifully decorated in a not too ornate style and the acoustics are excellent. The surroundings, whether in the town or in the opera house, enhance the experience of being at the Festival.


    Just as I was getting ready to apologise to the Poms for my remarks about their weather, after a week of bright sunshine and cloudless skies, a blast of winter crept in! No doubt it had something to do with a test match against New Zealand (which had a sadly predictable result) but has continued on for the past week. Nevertheless it was only overcast a little for the great eclipse and most of us seemed to gather to sing comic songs unceasing at the bandstand while squinting heavenwards through appropriate screens and managed to gain an excellent view of the phenomenon. As some wag put it, it is not often that we can see an eclipse and The Grand Duke on the same day.
    Sheila B Wright