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By W.S Gilbert & A. Sullivan


This production was undoubtedly one of the most funny and inspiring we have done. Our director Janet pulled out all the creative stops, making this incomprehensible story understandable and fun. No fusty, prim bridesmaids for Concept: no we had some very silly, and slightly scary paper dolls instead.

The Paper DolliesThe Concept was simple - make Ruddigore a bedtime tale. The beginning starts with two young children, being just like children who don't want to go to sleep, arguing and messing about. That is until they are told the story of the Witches Curse. Using the children's toys, the tale comes to life. Robin the skater doll, Rose the pretty ballerina doll, Richard the sailor action man (complete with pull cord), Adam the teddy bear and Mad Maggie the rag doll. The chorus of paper dolls and toy soldiers complete the ensemble.

Ruddigore DollIt was a fantastic run, to hear the gasps from the audience, followed by gales of laughter was electric. Brilliant performances from all. There were countless scene stealing moments with the tap dancing paper dollies - "They were the one character" as one member of the audience was heard to say. The singing was very strong thanks to the drilling of Jo, our MD, and we even restored the proper finale - much to the amazement of some die hard G&S buffs who didn't recognise it - but we thought toddling off to Basingstoke deserved an airing.


Finale Act1

"Stars of the production had to be Dancing Dollies (ladies chorus), who were costumed and made up to represent a row of cut out paper dolls. The heroine, Rose, was prettily played by lovely Ellie Hoare."


Penarth Times



Ruddigore, or The Witch's Curse, was originally called Ruddygore but it was though too risqué a name - ruddy afterall was an oath! It is one of the Savoy Operas and the tenth of fourteen comic operas written together by Gilbert and Sullivan (it followed the hugely successful Mikado). It was first performed by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company at the Savoy Theatre in London on 22 January 1887.