W.S. Gilbert’s stage management methods

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

W.S._Gilbert's_burlesque_comedy,_Engaged

As illustrated in The Strand interview1, W.S. Gilbert was a thorough stage manager, who planned everything in great detail. His need for detail involved having exact replicas of the stage, actors and scenes created, so he could plan, in depth, exactly who should be on stage at any given time. This is possibly why he was revered so much, as … Read More

The lake at Grim’s Dyke

Samantha PillingHistory

Ducks

The artificial ornamental lake at Grim’s Dyke must have been one of the biggest gardens and grounds projects undertaken by Sir William and Lady Gilbert. The original lake was way beyond the house and ornamental gardens, so, under Sir William’s direct supervision, it was extended, firstly in 1899, then again in 1905, until it reached a surface area of 1.5 … Read More

The Victorian art of Curio collecting

Samantha PillingHistory

Crockery

Curios, otherwise known as knick-knacks, trinkets and ornaments are one of those household things that you either love or hate – and it seems, that the Victorian had rather a passion for them! The Victorian love of Curios The Victorians loved to collect curios and display them around the house – many even had a curio cabinet, full of the … Read More

Caesar van Everdingen – one of W.S. Gilbert’s favoured painters

Samantha PillingHistory

Caesar van Everdingen

Caesar van Everdingen (1617-1678), also known as Caesar Pietersz was a 17th Century Dutch painter. He was a Baroque artist, focusing primarily on portrait and history, and was also known to be one of the painters from the period known as the Dutch Golden Age. W.S. Gilbert the Art Collector W.S. Gilbert loved collecting curios and art – one of … Read More

The Gaiety Theatre

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Gaiety Theatre

The Gaiety Theatre was built in 1864, on the former site of the Lyceum Theatre. Originally established as the Strand Musick Hall, it took four years to become known as the Gaiety Theatre. John Hollingshead Under the management of John Hollingshead, the Gaiety Theatre was known for musical burlesque, pantomime and operetta performances. It was also synonymous with being a … Read More

The Garrick Theatre – W.S. Gilbert’s legacy

Samantha PillingHistory

Garrick Theatre

The Garrick Theatre first opened its doors on 24th April 1889, with an Arthur Wing Pinero play, The Profiligate. Situated on Charing Cross Road, The Garrick was renowned English librettist, dramatist, poet and illustrator W.S. Gilbert’s legacy (as financier for the theatre’s build). Designed by Walter Emden, the theatre nearly didn’t happen, after difficult site planning, due to an underground river being discovered … Read More

W.S. Gilbert – a leading figure for theatrical reform

Samantha PillingHistory

theatrical reform

Drawing of Priscilla German Reed in both the parts she played in an 1857 double bill: the title roles in The Flower-boy and The Scotch Fisher-girl In the 1870’s the theatres of London were full of sexually orientated burlesque shows and badly adapted French operettas. Theatre had fallen into disrepute and wasn’t seen as a suitable place for any underage … Read More

Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe

Samantha PillingEntertainment, Latest News

Iolanthe

Gilbert & Sullivan planned on producing their seventh Savoy Opera, Iolanthe, simultaneously in London and New York, at the end of November 1882. The title of this latest Savoy opera was kept a closely guarded secret, with the character Iolanthe being called Perola, in an effort to keep even the cast in the dark. The biggest problem was Henry Irving … Read More

The Yeomen of the Guard

Samantha PillingHistory, Latest News

Tower of London

The Yeomen of the Guard was one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s darkest and emotionally engaging Savoy operas. The eleventh collaboration was more subdued and, much to Sullivan’s relief, it was human, straight-forward and had no evidence of Gilbert’s usual trademark satire. Set at The Tower of London in the 16th century, The Yeomen of the Guard premiered at The Savoy … Read More

Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddigore

Samantha PillingLatest News

Ruddigore

As was customary for W.S. Gilbert, as soon as The Mikado had its opening night, he started work on the next production – Ruddygore. However, due to other work commitments, Sullivan delayed setting the opera to music until the latter part of 1886 – with rehearsals finally being commenced in December of the same year. The tenth Savoy Opera, Ruddygore … Read More