For their latest colourful production, West Norfolk Gilbert & Sullivan Society is staging The Yeomen of the Guard at King’s Lynn Arts Centre stage from Wednesday, February 3, to Saturday, February 6, nightly at 7.30 pm, with a matinee on the Saturday at 2.30pm.
“Can you tell me, sir, why a cook’s brain-pan is like an overwound clock?”
Thus asks Jack Point, a strolling jester who with his companion Elsie Maynard bursts in on a crowd on Tower Green watching the Yeoman Warders preparing for the execution (on a trumped-up charge) of Colonel Fairfax.
However, Fairfax must marry before he dies. Why must he marry? Whom will he marry?
Sergeant Meryll, his daughter Phoebe and his son Leonard, Dame Carruthers, housekeeper to the Tower and her niece Kate, as well as head jailor and assistant tormentor Wilfred Shadbolt all plot and counterplot under the eagle eye of the Lieutenant of the Tower, Sir Richard Cholmondeley.
Four new members are welcomed; Freya Brunton plays Elsie Maynard, Diana Burling and Sky Ciantar join the ladies’ chorus, while Simon Scott becomes a Yeomen Warder.
Some members of the cast and backstage crew have many productions under their belt, others one or two.
Three husbands and wives also appear on stage together, as well as a mother and daughter. All are blended together by director Andrew Nicklin with his usual sparkle, while musical director Michael Hankinson brings to the show a wealth of experience gained in South Africa.
John Smith, acting Sir Richard, was himself confirmed in the Tower Chapel, the then Lieutenant reading the lesson. Incidentally, Sir Richard is the only real person to appear in any Gilbert & Sullivan opera.
Will Fairfax escape the block? Will virtue triumph? Shall we ever know the answer to Jack Point’s riddle? The answers may be found at the Arts Centre from February 3-6.
Tickets are £13.50, concs £12, students and children £6, available from Lynn Corn Exchange box office or call on 01553 764864.