Yeomen of the Guard, The 1967

HASTINGS GIRLS’ AND BOYS’ HIGH SCHOOLS

present

THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD

by

GILBERT & SULLIVAN

The Yeomen of the Guard

ACT

I – TOWER GREEN

Time: 16th CENTURY

Phoebe Meryll, daughter of Sergeant Meryll, of the Yeoman of the Guard is distressed because Colonel Fairfax is under sentence of death in the Tower for sorcery. The head jailer, Wilfred Shadbolt, in love with Phoebe, is jealous as he sees her grief. Her father, whose life Fairfax has twice saved, hopes that his son Leonard, newly appointed to the Yeomen, will bring a reprieve from Court; but Leonard arrives without it. They plan that Leonard will hide and Fairfax will impersonate him. Phoebe undertakes to get the keys to Fairfax’s cell from Shadbolt. It now transpires that Fairfax’s cousin has had him charged with sorcery, hoping to inherit his estate if Fairfax dies unmarried. Fairfax induces the Lieutenant of the Tower to search for and to pay some girl to marry him in order to frustrate his kinsman. The Lieutenant goes away and by chance sees Jack Point, a Jester, and Elsie Maynard, a wandering singer, entertaining a large crowd. Point tells the Lieutenant that Elsie’s mother is ill and they need money to cure her, so the officer puts his proposition to Elsie. Assured that Fairfax is to die immediately after the marriage and with the consent of Point to whom she is half betrothed, Elsie accepts the bribe. She is taken away blindfolded so that she will not see what her husband looks like and at once married to Fairfax, who is so distracted that he does not know who is becoming his wife. He shaves off his beard and moustache, dons the uniform of a Yeoman and goes on duty. The crowd gathers for the execution. Fairfax (as Leonard) and two other Yeomen go to fetch the prisoner but return to say that he has escaped. Point is horrified. Elsie, aghast, little knowing he is her husband, faints in the arms of Fairfax.

The Merryman and the Maid

ACT II – TOWER GREEN

Tower Green by moonlight. Point, mourning the loss of Elsie, meets Wilfred and promises to make him a Jester if he will swear that he shot the escaping Fairfax. Wilfred consents. Fairfax now learns from Dame Carruthers, Housekeeper of the Tower, that Elsie is his wife. Elsie thinks Fairfax is Leonard Meryll; she has fallen in love with him, but not dreaming he is her husband, tries to stop him making love to her. His lovemaking is interrupted by the sound of a shot, and Wilfred and Point rush in to say that Fairfax has been shot while swimming the river. Point now tells Elsie she is free to marry him but Fairfax declaring that the Jester “knows not how to woo” proceeds to give him so lifelike a lesson that both Point and Phoebe grow alarmed. Phoebe begins to weep and when Wilfred taunts her she unwittingly suggests the truth that the Yeoman is not Leonard at all. Wilfred realises that Leonard is really Fairfax, so to buy his silence Phoebe promises to marry the jailer. But by now the real Leonard enters with a reprieve which had been delayed by Fairfax’s scheming cousin. He is followed by Sergeant Meryll and Dame Carruthers. The former realises his complicity in the escape of Fairfax, and knowing that Dame Carruthers can inform on him he follows Phoebe’s example and bribes the dame with an offer of marriage. The crowd begins to assemble again; the Lieutenant of the Tower brings Elsie news that her husband is alive and free. She recoils for she knows her love for the supposed Leonard; but when Fairfax enters she recognises him and joyfully flies to him, dropping one tear “at the moan of the merryman mum”, poor Jack Point, Faifax[Fairfax] embraces his wife, falls insensible at their feet.

MUNICIPAL THEATRE, HASTINGS
JUNE 10th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 1967

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Sir Richard Cholmondeley (Lieutenant of the Tower)   BRUCE IVEY

Colonel Fairfax (under sentence of death)   STEWART GRAY

Sergeant Meryll (of the Yeoman of the Guard)   BRIAN KENNING

Leonard Meryll (his son)   STEPHEN LILEY

Jack Point (a strolling jester)   STEVEN MITCHELL

Wilfred Shadbolt (Head Jailer and Assistant Tormentor)   BRUCE LUSHER

The Headsman   PHILIP BELL

First Yeoman   JAMES ARCHIBALD

Second Yeoman   BRUCE MURRAY

First Citizen   JOHN HILL

Second Citizen   ANTHONY DALY

Elsie Maynard (a strolling singer)   LORRAINE CHARLESWORTH

Phoebe Meryll (Sergeant Meryll’s daughter)   JUDITH CUTHILL-COUTTS

Dame Carruthers (Housekeeper to the Tower)   JOANNE HULLETT

Kate (her niece)   ROBYN WILSON

Chorus of Yeomen of the Guard, Gentlemen, Citizens

Musical Numbers

ACT I

1 – SONG (Phoebe) When Maiden loves she sits and sighs.
2 – DOUBLE CHORUS (People and Yeomen) Tower Warders under orders.
SOLO (2nd Yeoman) This the autumn.
3 – SONG WITH CHORUS (Dame Carruthers and Yeomen)
When our gallant Norman foes.
4 – TRIO (Phoebe, Leonard, Meryll) Alas! I waver to and fro.
5 – BALLAD (Fairfax) Is life a boon?
6 – HORUS (Crowd, Elsie, Point) Here’s a man of jollity.
7 – DUET (Elsie and Point) I have a song to sing.
8 – TRIO (Elsie, Point, Lieutenant) How say you, maiden, will you wed?
9 – RECITATIVE AND SONG (Point) I’ve jibe and joke and quip and crank.
10 – RECITATIVE AND SONG (Elsie) ‘Tis done! I am a bride.
11 – SONG (Phoebe) Were I thy bride.
12 – FINALE Oh, Sergeant Meryll, it is true –

ACT II

1 – CHORUS Night has spread her pall once more.
SOLO (Dame Carruthers) Warders are ye?
2 – SONG (Point) Oh! a private Buffoon is a light-hearted loon.
3 – DUET (Point & Wilfred) Hereupon we’re both agreed.
4 – BALLAD (Fairfax) Free from his fetters grim.
5 – QUARTET (Kate, Dame, Fairfax, Meryll) Strange Adventure.
6 – SCENE (Elsie, Phoebe, Dame, Fairfax, Wilfred, Point, Lieutenant, Meryll,
and Chorus) Hark! What was that sir?
7 – TRIO (Elsie, Phoebe, Fairfax) A man who would woo a fair maid.
8 – QUARTET (Elsie, Phoebe, Fairfax, Point) When a wooer goes a-wooing.
9 – FINALE: Comes the pretty young bride.

SIR WILLIAM GILBERT

SIR ARTHUR SULLIVAN

GILBERT & SULLIVAN

THE names of Gilbert and Sullivan appeared first on a comic opera programme in 1871, but it was the production of Trial by Jury in 1875 that marked their first real success. Both men were already well known – Sullivan as a composer of church music and Gilbert as the author of Bab Ballads whose nonsense rhymes were at once the delight of the English and the despair of the foreigner. The combination of tuneful music, witty dialogue and whimsical plot – “treating a thoroughly farcical situation in a thoroughly serious manner” – continued through ten successful operas culminating in The Gondoliers in 1889. The man responsible for this great partnership, for it was his initiative that brought them together, was Rupert D’Oyly Carte, the theatre manager. He built a new theatre specially devoted to the production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operas; this was the Savoy, at the time the most comfortable and modern in London.

In 1889 came the famous quarrel between Gilbert and Sullivan – over the trifling matter of the order of a new carpet for the Savoy. The outcome was a letter from Gilbert to Sullivan declaring that “the time for putting an end to our collaboration has at last arrived … after the withdrawal of The Gondoliers our united work will be heard in public no more.” Four years later they were reconciled for a time and produced two more operas with only indifferent success. Sullivan, now a sick man, drifted to Monte Carlo, dissipating his money and his energy until he returned to England to die in 1900. Gilbert lived till 1911 when he died of heart failure while trying to rescue a girl from drowning.

The cost of a carpet was the immediate cause of the quarrel, but for some time each had been envious of the acclaim the other received. The knighthood bestowed on Sullivan harmed their partnership. Gilbert felt that his omission was a slight on his share of the collaboration. However, in the case of Sullivan it is probable that the operas were not considered, his mass of church music being a sufficient title to nobility. With Gilbert it was all too likely that his comic opera work lost him a title. His satire on the clergy in The Sorcerer and the peerage in Iolanthe would not be quickly forgotten or forgiven by Victorian authority. Gilbert had to wait till the reign of Edward VII for his knighthood.

Sullivan had first been restless after Princess Ida. He complained that he was “continually trying to keep down the music in order that not one word should be lost”. He wanted no more fantastic libretto; instead “a story of human interest and probability where the humorous words would come in a humorous (not serious) situation” and where tender or dramatic words accompanied similar situations. Gilbert replied meekly that he had just what Sullivan wanted – and then appeared with The Mikado!

Sullivan was forever distracted from comic opera by his friends and the critics who complained that he was frittering great talent on light entertainment. It was not proper that “Sir” Athur’s  name should appear in comic opera. Queen Victoria pronounced his oratorio The Light Of The World to be “destined to uplift British Music” and expressed the wish that Sullivan might compose a grand opera. Ivanhoe, his most ambitious creation was the result – a failure, and forgotten today.

In character the two men were opposed; Sullivan was gregarious and fond of good living, Gilbert was caustic, thrifty and reserved. The wonder is perhaps that their collaboration lasted so long. Today Gilbert and Sullivan is still played and enjoyed in English speaking lands. True, the social satire by which Gilbert caricatured the follies of his age has dated somewhat, but the typical English tunes of Sullivan and the sparkling nonsense of Gilbert still combine to draw their audiences and encourage theatrical groups to present – “Gilbert and Sullivan”.

Chorus of Yeomen of the Guard

B. Batchelor, P. Fenton, M. Gadd, N. Kenning, G. Knuckey, J. Mullinder, J. Murley, R. Perrott, D. Round, K. Coombes.

Chorus of People

D. Burfield, J. Coles, P. Condon, A. Daly, E. Frykberg, G. Gray, J. Hill, R. Hoskins, M. Judd, J. McLean, B. Mossman, A. Morley, A. Rapley,
L. Simon, B. Taylor, P. Wiggins, Rachel Archibald, Robyn Bewley, Trixie Bewley, Christine Burton, Anne Crocket, Christine Craven, Valda Crone, Judith Clark, Anne Drury, Jillian Botherway, Kathrine Evans, Lindsay Evans, Susan Fallows, Alison Farnell, Gillian French, Patricia Greaves, Elaine Guthrie, Denise Golding, Margaret Isdale, Lindsay Gray, Loise Garnett, Anne Lankovsky, Catherine Lattey, Jenny Linyard, Jenny Mabin, Anne McHardy, Anne Price, Gay Price, Margaret Pratt, Carol Potts, Jocelyn Powdrell, Lisl Prendergast, Mary Philpott, Jose Receveur, Heather Rippon, Jane Stevens, Tina Stainer, Gillian Simmons, Kristeen Sykes, Irene Stalker, Huia Tomlins, Ina Tangiiti, Helen Velvin, Maree Whitcombe.

PRODUCTION PERSONNEL

Wardrobe   MRS. E. FERGUSON AND STAFF OF GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL
Stage Sets   MR. O. MELLING, MR. DUNNINGHAM, MISS BRIGGS
Properties   MR. I. WITHER
Make-up   MRS MELLING, MR. & MRS. McCONNELL, MR. DUNNINGHAM, MISS HEBLEY, MISS MELVILLE, MRS. SUNDE, MISS BRIGGS
Prompt   ALISON BLACK
Call-boys   VIRGINIA HEATH
Chorus   MRS. MARY BELL, MR. J. IZATT, MRS. GRAY
Programme   MR. R. FOWLER, MR. R. DUNNINGHAM
Business Manager   MR. BRASSINGTON
Assistant Producer   MR B McCONNELL
Stage Manager   MR. O. MELLING
Musical Director   MRS. MARY BELL
Assistant Director   MR. J. IZATT
Producer   MISS CONSTANCE M. MILLER

ORCHESTRA

Conductor   MR. J. IZATT
First Violins   MESDAMES ENID DUNN (Leader), NITA RAE, MR. GEORGE WADE
Second Violin   MRS. WINIFRED BICKERSTAFF
Cello   MRS. URSULA WARD
Flute   MR. CEDRIC WHITE
Clarinet   MR. ALAN MEAKIN
Trumpet   MR. PERCY BESWARICK
Percussion   MR. JOHN SETON
Piano   MRS. MARY BELL

Costumes hired by courtesy of Scots College

HART PRINT

Original digital file

CoozeL814_YeomenoftheGuardProgramme.pdf

Business

Hastings Girls' High School, Napier Boys' High School

Date published

1967

Format of the original

Booklet

Accession number

814/1959/46433

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