Thespis

or "The Gods Grown Old", by W.S. Gilbert and A. Sullivan

Directed by Lynda Barrett-Mercer
Musical Director: Ian Stone

7-10th November Betchworth Memorial Hall

The 'lost' G&S opera

This is a unique production of the earliest G & S work, for which no musical score survives. First staged in 1871 as a Christmas entertainment, it ran for 63 performances, but Sullivan's score was then lost, and the work largely forgotten during the writers' lifetimes - although Sullivan certainly reused at least two of the tunes. The story concerns a group of actors in ancient Greece - the original Thespians - who take over the role of Gods on Mount Olympus so the decrepit deities can take a holiday on earth, with predictably chaotic consequences

Thespis has only occasionally been revived, from the 1950s onwards, sometimes with a score specially composed 'in the style of Sullivan'. Lynda and Ian however have painstakingly created their own score using familiar tunes in Sullivan's later repertoire, but incorporating 'Climbing over Rocky Mountains' (Pirates of Penzance) and 'Little maid of Arcadee' which are known to have been in the original. 

Cast

Jupiter Patrick Gallagher
Mars Matt Stainer
Apollo Colin Bousfield
Diana Pam Patch
Mercury Jane Khan
   
Thespis David Longes
Daphne Jane Johnson
Nicemis Margaret Longes
Sparkeion Carolyn Burnley
Tipseion Jane Seymour
Preposteros  Julian Warner-Edney
Prettiea Julie Bickerdike
Timidon Stephen Tickell

Production

Sound & Lighting     David Ames
Set Design Lynda Barrett-Mercer
Set Construction the Company
Costumes Lynda Barrett-Mercer
Video recording Jonathan Bickerdike

Front of House
and make-up

John Bryant, Sally Coleman, Alison Cooper, Kate Cottrell, Jane Flanders,
Fiona Garner, Selena Hegarty, Linda King, Jane Sillett, Ann Staddon,
Sheila Staples, Shirley Trower, Neil Williams

Rehearsal photos by Mick Mercer and Lynda Barrett-Mercer

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://bodsweb.com/past-productions/thespis#sigFreeId7cb3db02e5