Cally the Monster Kitten (cally_tmk) wrote,
Cally the Monster Kitten
cally_tmk

Harrogate Day 1 - Tuesday 11th August

Having finally resolved the technical difficulties which prevented me from getting these posts online sooner, here's the first part of my musings on my first experience of the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Harrogate.

Listening to the Breakfast Show on Radio 3, I was very surprised to hear my request (sent in a week or two previously for the 'Live from Cornwall' special) being read out - I'd said "You can't possibly go to Cornwall and not play something from the Pirates of Penzance!" - and the overture played. A good start to our G&S holiday :)

The train journey from Birmingham to Harrogate went smoothly, and we arrived at out hotel (Premier Inn Central) at around 4.30. Our room has a very nice view over the frontage and grounds of the Majestic Hotel. We headed across to the Royal Hall at about 6.30 - hadn't realised quite how close we were to the venue! Vegetable soup and roll for tea (pretty reasonably priced at £3.50), then to the bar for a glass of wine (less moderately priced at £4).

This evening's performance was the International University Production of Iolanthe. The performers were drawn from a variety of UK universities (mainly ones not involved in the Unifest programme) plus a few from the US and, I think, Belgium. Overall, they put on a good show. A few ragged edges (unsurprising given the very short time they'd had to prepare). Strephon (one of the US participants) was fantastic, and well-complemented by a very fine Phyllis. Having so many young performers resulted in the unusual situation of having a troupe of appropriately young-looking fairies, but a disconcertingly youthful house of peers. The Chancellor gave a characterful performance and was accompanied in his first scene by the most delightful page boy (played, IIRC, by Ian Smith's granddaughter). Along with Mountararat and Tolloller, the Chancellor delighted the audience with several reprises of a very entertainingly presented 'If you go in you're sure to win'.
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