FANCY yourself as a Lord, but didn’t make the Honours List? A Plymouth theatre company might just be able to help; but you won’t get to sit in those red benches, let alone collect £300 a day in attendance allowance — and you have to be able to sing!
Plymouth Gilbert and Sullivan Fellowship (PGS) will happily make you a ‘peer’ for their 2016 production Iolanthe, the legendary pair’s satire on parliament and the law, to be performed at the Devonport Playhouse in May.
‘In Iolanthe, the entire House of Lords end up marrying fairies,’ explained PGS vice chair Gareth Davies.
‘We’ve got plenty of fairies, but for some reason we’re a bit light on peers!’
The company is puzzled at the scarcity of men wanting to take to the stage, he admits. ‘We’re Britain’s oldest G and S company, this will be our 93rd season and we’ve never been short of tenor and basses before.’
Unlike ‘proper’ peers, who can please themselves when to turn up at the House of Lords, the chorus of Iolanthe will need to lord it for rehearsals at the King’s School in Hartley Road, Mannamead once a week on Monday nights. But they will have to attend a bit more often after the arrival of multi-award winning professional stage director Alan Spencer in April.
‘Alan is updating the show from 1882 to the 1960s,’ said Gareth, ‘and you can see from our poster that our “fairies” are dressing in flared skirts and have bouffant hairdos. So you never know, it could be the entrance of the pinstriped peers!’