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Poster for A Sensation Novel.
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First performed on January 31, 1871, this play anticipates Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author. Gilbert satirizes the sensation novels of his day by having the stock characters in such a novel come to life and comment disparagingly on the plot, complaining because they are compelled to do the author's bidding, which is often at variance with their own desires. A Sensation Novel involves a bad baronet, a baby changed a birth, a self-decapitation, and other elements familiar to Gilbert and Sullivan devotees.

MIDI Files

There are four songs for which the original music by Thomas German Reed is known:

These songs were published with illustrated covers. We have scans of Nos. 13 and 16.

A Sensation Novel at Buxton — On July 30, 1999, a group of friends calling themselves "The Cheshire Set" performed A Sensation Novel at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival at Buxton, England. As, at that time, the original Thomas German Reed score was available for only one of the songs in this musical play (No. 16), Mike Nash composed original music for the remainder of the songs. Mike has been kind enough to permit us to post these songs in the G&S Archive as NoteWorthy files, providing MIDI music and the full score for each song. These are freely available to performing groups — Mike only asks that you contact him and you give him the appropriate credit.

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