- September 2019
Following their sell-out production of “The Pirates of Penzance” in 2018, the Cambridge University Gilbert and Sullivan Society return to the beautiful Minack Theatre on the cliffs of Cornwall with “Princess Ida”.
Twenty years ago, King Hildebrand and King Gama arranged a diplomatic match between their infant children, with the marriage to take place when Gama’s daughter Ida came of age.
Now, the great day is at hand, but while Prince Hilarion eagerly awaits his wedding, Ida has other ideas. She has forsworn men, and now runs a women’s university. When Gama’s failure to deliver his daughter almost provokes war between the two kingdoms, Hilarion and his friends attempt to infiltrate the university, win Ida’s heart, and ensure peace. But Ida will not yield so easily, either to Hilarion’s wooing, or to King Hildebrand’s threats.
One of the highlights of the Cambridge theatre calendar, the Minack show brings together some of Cambridge’s finest technicians, musicians and performers. The production is put together on site as the cast, crew, and orchestra live and work together in the idyllic village of Paul in Cornwall (a short drive from the theatre). The cast will arrive in early September to begin rehearsals, with the orchestra and technicians following a week later.
- September 2018
An apprentice to a band of pirates, Frederic has turned 21 and has chosen to leave piracy forever. As he says farewell to his former colleagues, who should appear but the beautiful Mabel, daughter to the esteemed Major General Stanley, and her many sisters. The two fall in love, and despite the group initially being captured by the pirates, they are soon released as the pirates have a soft spot for orphans, which Major General Stanley exploits. But despite a seemingly perfect life ahead for Frederic and Mabel, the pirates soon find a way to get at Frederic's sense of duty to the pirates...
The CUG&S society is taking the famous The Pirates of Penzance where it belongs, to the Minack Theatre in Cornwall (near the actual Penzance)! It will be an amazing show in an amazing space and amazing amounts of fun for all involved!
The production is put together on site as the cast, crew, and orchestra live and work together in the idyllic village of Paul in Cornwall (a short drive from the theatre). The cast will arrive on the 2nd of September to begin rehearsals, with the orchestra following a week later.
- September 2017
It is with great excitement we can announce that our 2017 show at the Minack Theatre will be Patience! Last performed at the Minack in 2001, Patience is a frothy musical romp, combining a sparkling score, a delightful gallery of characters and the beautiful evocation of a bygone medieval neverland where damsels swooned and sighed for their sweethearts, and where love could turn the world upside-down!
Patience, or Bunthorne's Bride, satirizes the aesthetic craze of the 1870's and '80s, when the output of poets, composers, painters and designers of all kinds was, some argued, rather empty and self-indulgent. This artistic movement was so popular, and so easy to ridicule, that it made Patience a big hit.
All the well-born young ladies in the village are rapturously caught up in aestheticism, and in love with two contrasting aesthetic poets. But the poets are both in love with Patience, the simple village milkmaid, who cares nothing for poetry. The girls' military suitors don't see the point to aesthetics, but they decide to give it a try to win the women's hearts. It is touch and go for awhile, but everyone ends up with a suitable partner, even if it is only a tulip or lily!
If you are interested in being in the orchestra, please email Lucy at email@example.com with your instrument, evidence of ability and previous experience.
- September 2016
Set in the Japanese town of Titipu, The Mikado follows the adventures of a wandering minstrel, Nanki-Poo; his ward, Yum-Yum; The Lord High Executioner, Ko-Ko; and The Lord High Everything Else, Pooh-Bah. The show is a witty satire of the British political system featuring excellent caricatures, an ingeniously convoluted plot and some of Sullivan's best musical writing. Not only is The Mikado the most performed of all of Gilbert and Sullivan's works, it is one of the most frequently played pieces of musical theatre in history.
- September 2015
Starry-eyed young lovers Alexis and Aline wish everyone in their village could be as happily besotted as they are. In a moment of inspiration, they decide to hire John Wellington Wells, a distinguished representative of a highly respectable London firm of sorcerers, to brew a love-potion for their fellow citizens. It remains only to slip the potion into the tea at the wedding feast—but though the villagers fall in love, they do so with the first person the see, no matter who it is! Will magical love win through? Or are the villagers doomed to a life of joyless love?
Join CUG&SS on the cliffs at Porthcurno, at the world-renowned open-air Minack Theatre for Gilbert and Sullivan's first great success, The Sorcerer.
- September 2014
Aboard the HMS Pinafore, Ralph Rackstraw and Josephine are madly in love, though neither dares declare it, divided by the barriers of class. But when Josephine’s father Captain Corcoran attempts to arrange a match for her with Sir Joseph Porter, the lovers are galvanised into action, aided and abetted by Ralph’s fellow sailors and Sir Joseph’s tender-hearted sisters, cousins and aunts. Will Josephine successfully be with the one she loves or will the prejudices of class separate them for ever?
For the 40th anniversary of the Gilbert and Sullivan society's productions at the Minack, 'HMS Pinafore' will be staged set aboard a 1930's warship and satirising the class issues of time. This production will take place at the outdoor Minack Theatre, a spectacular venue cut into the cliffs above Porthcurno Bay, Cornwall.
- September 2013
The Cambridge University Gilbert and Sullivan Society are delighted to announce the launch of their 2013 production of IOLANTHE at the magical Minack Theatre off the cliffs of Porthcurno, Cornwall. The society have been performing at the open-air amphitheatre for over thirty years, and are offering you the chance to get involved in this year's show, one of Gilbert & Sullivan's finest, Iolanthe...
Set in England's idyllic countryside, a troupe of Lords on a hunting trip tangle with the mischievous fairies of the mystical forest as they try to woo the much-desired Phyllis, the love of Strephon (a half-fairy, half-mortal lowly shepherd and nephew of the Fairy Queen). The pompous lords break up the happy couple, so the fairies vow revenge: they follow to London and install one of their own (the hapless Strephon) in Parliament to incite liberal rebellion! Fireworks and frivolity ensue as lofty lords and feisty fairies collide in the ever bumpy road to love.
- September 2012
Every year the Cambridge G&S Society travel down to perform at the beautiful Minack theatre on the edge of a cliff in Cornwall. Where else do you get dolphins upstaging the chorus? This year's show, Ruddigore, is full of comic horror - think "The Adams Family". There is more information on the show at www.ruddigore.co.uk
- September 2011
Over the past few decades, the G&S society's annual production at the Minack has launched the careers of the likes of Griff Rhys-Jones, along with numerous professional conductors, performers, lighting designers, set designers and virtually all other brand of technician and designer - and this year we will be bringing together the very finest in current student and recently-graduated talent to put on a show like no other.
The Pirates of Penzance is one of the most popular and beloved shows of all time, and is certainly often considered to be Gilbert and Sullivan's finest work. It is well known for spawning such classics as "I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major General" and "A Policeman's Lot Is Not A Happy One".
Join us for what promises to be remembered for generations as one of the all-time great flagship shows for Cambridge Theatre!
- September 2010
When two, humble Venetian gondoliers are informed that one of them is actually heir to the throne of the far-away kingdom of Barataria – but that no-one quite knows which one – an absurd tale of confused identity and aristocratic antics ensues.
Combining the wonderful tunes and witty lyrics of Gilbert & Sullivan with Cambridge University’s finest theatrical talent, THE GONDOLIERS promises a magical, fun-filled evening beneath the stars at the renowned Minack Theatre.
- September 2009
The Gilbert and Sullivan Society is delighted to announce that this year we will be performing 'The Mikado' at the Minack Theatre, Cornwall. The performance runs from 14th-18th, with two weeks' rehearsal beforehand - cast and production team should be available from the 31st August; the orchestra from the 7th September.
'The Mikado' is one of the most well-known and well-loved of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Set in the topsy-turvy Japanese town of Titipu, 'The Mikado' tells the story of Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado who disguises himself as a wand'ring minstrel in order to escape the romantic attentions of the elderly court maiden Katisha. In his travels he encounters and falls in love with the lovely Yum-Yum, one of three little maids who are the wards of Ko-Ko, the town executioner. Ko-Ko is engaged to Yum-Yum, but is distracted from his wedding plans by the royal decree that he must execute someone within a month... and Nanki-Poo seems like a good candidate. For a full synopsis, libretto and midi files of the music, please visit:
Putting on a show at the Minack theatre is a uniquely challenging and rewarding experience. Minack is built into the cliffs of Porthcurno near Penzance, with a stone stage and the sea as its backdrop. More information about the theatre can be found at its website:
The cast and orchestra live and rehearse together for two weeks before the show in the village of Paul, about a twenty minute drive from Minack. Situated a couple of miles from Penzance and a short walk from Mousehole, the picturesque Paul has been our host for many years, and staying there is always a wonderful experience.
- September 2008
We are delighted to be returning once more to the Minack Theatre in Cornwall, an open-air theater situated on the cliffs of Porthcurno, Penzance, with the stunning sea as it's backdrop. The whole company lives, sleeps and rehearses in the charming village hall of Paul and there is plenty of downtime to be spent in the pub, in the sea and on the beach! This year, we are delighted to be staging "Yeomen", one of Gilert and Sullivan's best-loved collaborations. Darker and grander than many of their other works, this story of the Merryman and his Maid still bubbles over with Gilbert's characteristic wit. The score is one of Sullivan's finest and most operatic, featuring spectacular choruses, sparkling patter songs, magnificent arias and the most beautiful duet of all, "I have a song to sing, O!"
Set in and around the Tower of London in Tudor times, the show tells the story of Colonel Fairfax, under sentence of death for a crime he hasn't committed, who longs to marry before his execution- just to thwart his scheming cousin's plan to inherit his property. Enter Jack Point and Elsie Maynard, travelling players; Jack agrees that Elsie should marry Fairfax, leaving her a very rich widow free to marry him. But unbeknownst to them, Fairfax's friends have arranged to spring him from the Tower of London, leaving Elsie less of a widow than she was hoping to be, and Jack the fiancé of a married woman! Jack conspires to try and win back his beloved, but will his efforts all be in vain?
- September 2007
The very first of Gilbert and Sullivan's big successes, HMS Pinafore, or The Lass That Loved a Sailor, depicts the adventures of Captain Corcoran as he tries to persuade his wilful daughter, the beautiful Josephine, not to marry Ralph, a common sailor below her station, while simultaneously attempting to persuade Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty (with sisters, cousins and aunts always in tow) that marrying below his station, to Josephine, would indeed be an honour to all involved. After a planned elopement, an excess of mad plotting and of course much hornpiping, they all find out love may indeed level all ranks, but not as much as that.
- September 2006
After the sell-out performances of Iolanthe last year, the G&S society is returning to Cornwall for its summer tour to the Minack Theatre in Cornwall - the famous and fantastic outdoor theatre hewn into the cliffs at Porthcurno, near Lands End. This year's production will be Princess Ida. Inspired by our very own Girton College, this thrilling musical, based on Tennyson's celebrated poem The Princess, takes a satirical romp through the women's education movement to include knights who strip to music, three cross-dressing noblemen and a bevy of repressed and beautiful maidens (the best kind), all set across the vivid landscape of two incompetent, warring Kings.
- September 2005
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- September 1979