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

Harrogate Day 6 - Sunday 16th August

Started the day with the church service at St Peter's, led by Canon Stephen Shipley and Very Rev. Ian Bradley. I was a little surprised to discover that neither Gilbert nor Sullivan were regular churchgoers (especially considering Sullivan's hymns and sacred music, and also in the light of the religious references which I'm sure came up in the letters we heard extracts from yesterday). Apparently Gilbert was particularly taken with the book of Job, with its story of ever-increasing sufferings heaped upon a good man. Gilbert viewed society as being full of injustices, and in his later years, when acting as a JP, was inclined to take the side of the defendant, if he felt they came from a disadvantaged background.

We sang 'Alleluia, Alleluia' (which is the same hymn the congregation are singing in the opening scene of the film of Papp's Pirates), 'Hushed was the evening hymn' (new to me, but I rather liked it), and, of course, 'Onward Christian Soldiers'. We would have sung 'Jubilate Deo', if we'd got a copy of the words and music; unfortunately, we missed out on the relevant announcement due to a problem with the PA system just before the service started. The readings were, appropriately, from Job (21:7-20) and The Prodigal Son (the text of which formed the basis for Sullivan's first oratorio).

After the service, we headed across to the Winter Gardens for a Wetherspoon's Sunday lunch (a very tasty spinach and chestnut wellington, with full vegetable accompaniment). After lunch we wandered round the town for a bit, then back to the hotel for a bit of internet time, and a chance to take a look at my purchases from the memorabilia fair yesterday. These included a copy of 'How to sing both Gilbert and Sullivan' by William Cox-Ife (just because it looked intriguing) and, optimistically, a vocal score of Trial by Jury, which was to be the evening's pot luck performance.

Tonight's show was The Mikado, which I'd been much looking forward to, as it was directed by John Savournin, about whom I'd heard good things. He was also taking the title role on this occasion, as Donald Maxwell was off giving a concert at another part of the festival. The show opened with the men's chorus wearing bowler hats and carrying large red fans, of which they made strikingly inventive use. The ladies' chorus entered formed into a train, with spinning parasols representing the wheels, which was also very effective.

The three little maids were so full-to-bursting with girlish glee that one almost felt sorry for Pooh-Bah. Nanki-Poo had an underlying air of self-assurance, and while affable and free of malice, showed a hint of condescending amusement at the troubles besetting Ko-Ko in Act II (reminding me somewhat of the character of Paul in the 1980s sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles). The Mikado cut an imposing figure, with a voice to match. The star of the show, though, was undoubtedly Ko-Ko, delightfully comical, but also played quite sympathetically. I don't think Katisha got too bad a deal!

On a more serious note, listening to 'See how the Fates their gifts allot', I found myself thinking back to the morning service and Job.

After the show, it was off to the Pavilion, for another short cabaret provided by the National G&S folks, followed by the pot-luck Trial by Jury. I finally succeeded in identifying Sarah-Jane Hall and obtaining my SavoyNet badge, and John & I joined her and her family for the remainder of the proceedings. Having never sung Trial before, it was really good to be sitting with a couple of people who really knew the piece and were clearly enthusiastic about it. The chorus lines in 'A nice dilemma', which had completely baffled me when looking at the score earlier in the afternoon, suddenly started to make sense. I love watching and listening to G&S, but there's an extra buzz you get from joining in; I really do want join a local society this September (if I can find one that'll have me!)
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