Gilbert and Sullivan Archive
Preview from STAFFORDSHIRE SENTINEL
Friday, 11 Feb 1927, page 4
Next Week At The Hanley Theatre Royal
North Staffs Amateur Operatic Society
Next week, the North Staffordshire Amateur Operatic Society are giving a week's performance (with a matinee on Thursday February 17th) of Gilbert and Sullivan's delightful comic opera "The Mikado"." at the Theatre Royal, Hanley.
The proceeds are to be given to various local charities. As a result of the performance of "Veronique" last season the sum of 192 pounds, 2 shillings, 14 pence was handed over to local hospitals, and the Stoke-on-Trent Children's Holiday Home at Rhyl.
Mr. C. Douglas Maddock who has rendered valuable service to the society for many years, is again acting as Hon. Stage Director, and Mr. Ernest A. Widdop, the Musical Director of the Theatre Royal, will be Hon. Musical Director.
The cast includes the names of ladies and gentlemen who have done excellent work in past seasons. Two of the new principals have had valuable experience with other Societies outsider the district, and are already familiar with the part they will play. Care has been taken to ensure that costumes and scenery and production as a whole will be worthy of the high traditions of the Savoy operas. The Theatre Royal orchestra will be augmented and will rehearse with the members of the Society.
The advance bookings give every indication of a financial success. :The Mikado" still maintains its position as the most popular of all the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, and we have no doubt that the performances next week will be most enjoyable.
Miss Mabel Wilshaw, who gave a charming performance as Veronique last year, is to play the principal soprano part of Yum-Yum. Miss Wilshaw is one of the most popular young vocalists of the district, and proved last season that she has also a natural aptitude for amateur operatic work.
Miss Ethel Davies, who is also well known at local concerts, is making her first appearance with the society in the contralto soubrette part of Pitt-Sing. It is anticipated that she will prove very successful in this bright and amusing role.
Miss Madge Burton, who is to be Peep-Bo, will be remembered for her graceful performance as the young Princess Kalyba in "Utopia Limited."
Miss Gladys Peake, LRAM, who has been a valued member of the Society for some years, is playing the principal contralto role of Katisha. Miss Peake is an accomplished musician, and is one of our best local contraltos.
Mr. C. Douglas Maddock, in addition to his arduous duties as producer, is cast for the role of Pooh-Bah - that worthy who comprehends within his own person a complete cbinet of Ministers, together with other important offices. Mr Maddock during his long and successful career in amateur opera, has played a great variety of parts covering a wide range. He has taken several parts in most of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, but this will be the first time he has played Pooh-Bah. He will no doubt prove highly successful and, ad to his reputation as one of the most talented and experienced actors in the realm of amateur opera. Mr. Pears Lynn, who is to play Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner, is a new member of the Society, who has had previous experience as a principal and producer with other societies. Amongst other parts, he has played Ko-Ko with much success. During four and a half years of active service in France during the War, Mr. Pears Lynn was instrumental in organizing and carrying through a number of entertainments for the troops behind the lines.
Mr. A. Cropp Hawkins, who will play the Mikado, has taken parts in a number of productions of the Society, including "The Gondoliers," "Tom Jones" and "Veronique." His excellent character sketch of the impecunious Baron in the latter opera will be remembered with pleasure.
Mr. Cyril L. Brooke (Pish Tush) has taken prominent baritone parts in numerous operas, very successful, including Florestan ("Veronique"). "Tom Jones," Mr. Goldburg ("Utopia"), Guiseppi and Luiz (:The Gondoliers:), and the Lieutenant of the Tower ("The Yeomen").
This review was submitted to the G&S Archive by Louis Silverstein.