By W.S. Gilbert & A. Sullivan


The whole company agreed at the time that this was the most fun G&S show we have ever done, and our audiences enjoyed the production at least as much as the cast did. There were of course a few purists who could not come to terms with Marco & Guiseppi Blues (or was it Jake and Elward Palmieri?); or the rebellious, leather clad Cassilda, or even the Mexican gun runner; and Was Luiz really The King? But even they just had to laugh. And in true Concept tradition, if you were blind you would have enjoyed The Gondoliers for a well sung and professionally delivered production. True, you may have noticed the Blues interlude at the start of Act 2 and the Cachucha tango, quickstep, pasa doble and rock & roll; but every note Arthur Sullivan wrote was sung/played and every word WS Gilbert penned was spoken. However, what you would see was not perhaps traditional - in fact, not traditional in any way!

Our Contadine were certainly not innocent flower girls and caused a few gasps when they appeared clad in mini skirts and fishnets, hot pants and crop tops, skin tight leopard skin and strapless basques - in fact, the male cast could hardly sing at the dress rehearsal but being true professionals they recovered (and wore dark glasses) for the performances. The fun was fast and furious, hardly time to catch a breath. In fact we though we were going to have a fatality on our last night, when one gentleman in the audience laughed so much that he couldn't stop. We put it down to the 3 Don Alhambri little, not so little and the female with the moustaches who stripped them and her clothes off (no, not all of them) to dance the Pasa Doble at the Cachucha party. The front line performers in Concept always have a hard time. We are a small company, 20 25 on stage, and everyone has an individual character to play (the cast have enormous fun working on these), consequently no one wants the principal roles because they are the ones with the most restrictions. Marco however, had the hardest time of any, as he had to sing the beautiful Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes with one of the Dons trying to kill him, and getting a few of the chorus along the way. He actually ended with a bomb in his hand (you know, the round black type with 'bomb' written on it), fuse lit and counting! All done in the best possible taste and ensuring that those of our audience who came to hear this lovely aria, heard it.



The Gondoliers, or The King of Barataria,  premiered at the Savoy Theatre on 7 December 1889 and ran for a very successful 554 performances (at that time the fifth longest-running piece of musical theatre in history), closing on 30 June 1891. This was the twelfth comic opera collaboration of fourteen between Gilbert and Sullivan.