News Archive

Open Auditions for The Mikado – March 2015

August 2014
Open auditions for The Mikado are to be held on Tuesday 9th September commencing at 7.30pm. The venue will be Sandal Methodist Church, 253 Barnsley Road, Wakefield, WF1 5NU. All are welcome!

If you wish to audition for a part or participate in any other way, please contact the secretary by e-mail or telephone by 31st August. You will then be given a time to attend. Jim Newby will be both Producer and Musical Director.

The dates for the show at St Austin’s Theatre, Wentworth Terrace, Wakefield, WF1 3QN will be in the week commencing 16th March. During the following two weeks, there may be a touring production. These will probably be Friday and Saturday nights but these are not confirmed yet.

For more information, including the audition pieces, please click here! Good luck!

Gilbert and Sullivan in Concert

May 2014
Our next concert is being hosted by Sandal Methodist Church and tells the story of Gilbert and Sullivan through a selection of their best loved songs. We hope to see you there!

Farewell to Penzance

March 2014

Missing that backstage buzz

We had a really fun week as Pirates, and throughly enjoyed performing at St. Austin’s. A big thank you to everyone who helped make the show a success, and most importantly to our wonderful audience who gave us such tremendous support.

To ward off the post show blues, we are now turning out attention to the forthcoming concert season. Watch this space for more details, or if you would like us to perform for you, please get in touch! We can bring Pirates on tour to your Village Hall / school / workplace, or perform a concert or you. Just let us know what you want!

26th – 29th March 2014 – The Pirates of Penzance

St Austin’s Theatre, Wentworth Terrace, Wakefield WF1 3QW

Tickets now on sale online!

January 2014
Our 2014 show is The Pirates of Penzance at St Austin’s Community Theatre, Wednesday 26th March to Saturday 29th March 2014 at 7:30pm, with a matinee on Saturday at 2:30pm. Tickets are £10 stalls and £12 balcony and group discounts are available. For more details see the Forthcoming Events page, or to book tickets online, click on “Buy Tickets” below:
Buy tickets

Premier of “G&S a la Carte”

January 2014
We premiered our light-hearted version of the story of Gilbert and Sullivan at Nostell and Kinsley WI on the 16th January 2014. Penned by our own Jay Whittam, “G&S a la Carte” combines arias and choruses from the Savoy Operas with dialogue to create a mildly educational concert. The compact version is 45 minutes long, perfect for a group or society who usually enjoy a talk from a speaker, but want something a little different for their normal speaker’s fee. We can also provide an extended version as a full evening’s entertainment.

“We had a very enjoyable evening being entertained by the Wakefield Gilbert & Sullivan Society, they told the story of Gilbert and Sullivan in a very entertaining and amusing way, interspersing this with a selection of songs in a very professional way, a performance just for us, they are a very friendly group and well worth booking for any group.”

Marjorie, Nostell and Kinsley WI

For more information about “G&S a la Carte”, please contact us and discuss your requirements.

Tickets now on sale!

January 2014
Our 2014 show is The Pirates of Penzance and we will be performing in a different venue: St Austin’s Community Theatre. This well equipped, comfortable and intimate venue is smaller than the Theatre Royal, so make sure you book early to get your favourite seats. Tickets are now on sale and are available from Peter Bolton by emailing or calling him on 01924 362017.
The performances are Wednesday 26th March to Saturday 29th March 2014 at 7:30pm, with a matinee on Saturday at 2:30pm. Tickets are £10 stalls and £12 balcony and group discounts are available.

Christmas Carols in the Dungeon!

November 2013
7pm and 8:15pm on Friday 13th December 2013
Is this our most bizarre venue yet? Wakefield G&S Society are performing two Chamber Carol Concerts in Pontefract Castle Dungeon! Seats are limited, so book early.
Tickets are available from the Castle Visitor Centre, from Pontefract Musem or by calling 01977 723440.
Tickets £6 with free mince pie and mulled wine after the concert.

We are also singing carols about town on a variety of dates. See the Forthcoming Events page for details.

Carols in the Dungeon

Iolanthe Club Night Open to All

September 2013
There will be a Club night on Tuesday 10 September at Sandal Methodist Church commencing at 7.30pm. This will include a sing through of ‘Iolanthe’ with Jim Newby directing, followed by refreshments (small charge).
Please bring your own vocal score and invite friends, family and anyone else who will enjoy this very informal evening.
If you want to find out more about the society, come and join us for this event.

Auditions for Pirates

August 2013
Our 2014 show will be The Pirates of Penzance. The Society will be holding auditions on the 1st October. The audition pieces are attached here for your information.
Please watch this space for more news, and contact Jane on 01924 339538 if you would like to audition for one of the principal roles.
Update – Cast List
Mabel – Maggie Lowe
Edith – Jane Fawcett
Isabel – Pauline Hepkin
Kate – Catherine Jackson
Ruth – Val Green
Frederick – Leon Waksburg
Pirate King – Oliver Longstaff
Sergeant of Police – Gordon Fawcett
Samuel – Ian Stewart
Major-General – Bobbie Greatorex

Summer Concert – Sat 29th June

June 2013
We are performing a Summer Concert to support Walton Lifeboat Group at Walton Village Hall at 7:30pm on the 29th June. The programme is a mixture of G&S classics (including the Policeman’s Song and Three Little Maids) and other light music and show songs. Our favourite is the theme from The Last of the Summer Wine, but Seventy-Six Trombones is a lot of fun too! Do come along to support this good cause and enjoy an evening of music.

Tickets are £6 and are available from the Walton RNLI Group by calling Anne on 01924 257458.

Ian Downes with the trophy and the winning programme

Winning Programme!

April 2013
We are delighted to announce that the programme for our 2012 production of HMS Pinafore won the NODA North East Programme Competition! The creative brain behind the progamme was committee member and backstage helper Ian Downes who designed it to look like Captain Corcoran’s Ship’s Log. We will now represent our region in the national competition which will be judged in the autumn.

John Godber becomes Wakefield G&S’s Honorary President!

March 2013

For the past 14 years, our highly regarded President has been Mr Richard Briggs, but as he is standing down from office we would like to  take the opportunity to thank him for all his hard work which has spanned more than half the life of the Society. So, how to replace the irreplaceable? We need someone well respected, known to all and who has the experience needed to help the Society in the future. We are therefore thrilled to announce that our Honorary President is now the esteemed playwright Mr John Godber. This can only help to strengthen our Society and our links with the Theatre Royal.

HMS Pinafore poster
HMS Pinafore poster

Success in the 2012 NODA North East Poster and Programme Competition

March 2013
We are delighted to hear that our 2012 poster for HMS Pinafore scored well in the NODA competition achieving a mark of 88/100. Our Pinafore programme has bagged one of the top places too, but we won’t find out which one until the NODA weekend in April. Fingers crossed!

Wakefield Gilbert and Sullivan Society raise funds for Wakefield Hospice

December 2012
In the run up to Christmas our carol singing activities raised £200 for Wakefield Hospice. Many thanks to the members who turned out night after night, and the generosity of the staff and customers at Asda, Sainsbury’s Ings Road, Wakefield Market and the Ridings Centre.

Christmas time is here once more …

Carol singing at Sainsbury's
Carol singing at Sainsbury’s

November 2012
And Wakefield Gilbert and Sullivan Society will be popping up all over Wakefield, carol singing to raise funds for the society and for Wakefield Hospice. The festivities begin at Asda on Saturday 24th November where the society will be performing between 12 and 2pm. Do come along and say hello! You can also catch us at Sainsbury’s Ings Road at 6pm on the 13th December, at Wakefield Market from 10am on the 15th December, and in The Ridings shopping centre from 1:30pm on the 16th December.

Dr Jackson’s Concert

Saturday 6th October 2012
Dr Jackson’s Cancer Charity hosted our concert at Pontefract Central Methodist Church. Stalwart Pontefract supporters turned out despite stiff competition from other concerts in the area, and enjoyed our offering.

Dr Jackson's Fundraising Concert poster
Dr Jackson’s Fundraising Concert poster

Normanton Rotary Club charity concert and supper

Friday 5th October 2012, 7:30pm
Normanton Rotary Club invited us to The Linnet WMC, Normanton for a pie and pea supper and an evening of music.
Tickets were £7.50 and a large and appreciative audience came to enjoy the delicious food and our entertainment.

Normanton Rotary Club Concert Poster
Normanton Rotary Club Fundraising Concert Poster
Normanton Rotary Club concert
Normanton Rotary Club concert
Trial By Jury
Trial By Jury

Wakefield Hospice Concert

Friday 28th September 2012
Calder Grove and Durkar Hospice Group hosted our concert at St Paul’s and St Peter’s (near Asda). A good number of people came to see the concert and helped to make it a successful fundraising event for the Hospice Support Group.

Fundraising concert for Wakefield Hospice
Fundraising concert for Wakefield Hospice

Our Mikado Costumes gain award at the Buxton International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival!

August 2012
Very many congratulations to West Wickham Operatic Society who won four categories and were runners-up in three at the Buxton Festival, including a runner-up award for the Best Costumes. We are chuffed because the women’s chorus and many of the principal costumes were hired from us! You can see photos of the award winning production on the WWOS website by clicking here. We provided costumes for The Mikado, Ko-Ko, the Three Little Maids, and both imposing outfits for Katisha, as well as the women’s kimonos and wigs, and all the fans. All these costumes and props are available for hire – for details see our Costume Hire page. We also have traditional men’s costumes, and matching wedding outfits for Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum.

Schoolgirls at West Wickham Operatic Society (photo by WWOS)
Schoolgirls at West Wickham Operatic Society (photo by WWOS)
Katisha Act I at West Wickham Operatic Society (photo by WWOS)
Katisha Act I at West Wickham Operatic Society (photo by WWOS)
West Wickham Operatic Society in their award winning production of The Mikado, modelling our costumes
West Wickham Operatic Society in their award winning production of The Mikado, modelling our costumes
Soloists rehearse for Trial by Jury

Invitation to our Summer Concert

July 2012
We would like to invite you to our Summer Concert on Saturday 28th July, 7:30pm at Sandal Methodist Church. We will perform a sizzling selection of songs from your favourite musicals and operas including Les Miserables, Oliver!, Carmen, The Merry Widow, and The Marriage of Figaro, as well as our speciality: G&S. The evening will include a concert performance of Trial by Jury. Tickets are £6 for adults and £3 for children and are available from Peter Bolton on 01924 362 017, online on our Forthcoming Events page, or on the door.

It’s Audition Time Again!

June 2012
In 2013, our 30th Anniversary Show, we will be performing Ruddigore! Auditions for the principal parts are open to all and will be held on the evening of the 23rd July 2012 at Sandal Methodist Church. If you would like to book an audition, please contact Jane on 01924 339538. The audition pieces to learn are here.

Award for our programme

Award for our society’s 2011 Programme

April 2012
It seems a long time ago now, but we are delighted to announce that the programme for our 2011 production of The Sorcerer was awarded the Runner Up prize in the NODA North East Region Programme Competition. Our show comes right at the beginning of the competition year, so we have to wait a whole twelve months before the judging. Huge congratulations to programme designer Ian Downes, and fingers crossed for the 2012 programme for HMS Pinafore, which has just been entered into this year’s competition.

HMS Pinafore 2012
HMS Pinafore 2012

Thank You!

March 2012
As we pack away the costumes and readjust to “normal life” after the exhilaration of performing HMS Pinafore, we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who came to see the show, or who was involved in making it a success. By taking the show on tour on the 23rd and 24th March we helped to raise funds for two local charities: Wakefield Riding for the Disabled and The Society for the Blind of Dewsbury, Batley and District. We are now planning the programme for our concert series which we will rehearse over the summer, and starting to think about celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2013.

If you enjoyed the show and have been inspired to take up singing, do get in touch. We have a great time rehearsing and performing, and we are always delighted to welcome new members.

Shop Online and Raise Money for Wakefield Gilbert and Sullivan Society!

March 2012

We’ve joined forces with It’s the easiest way to help raise money for Wakefield Gilbert and Sullivan Society! If you already shop online with retailers such as Amazon, M&S, Argos, John Lewis, Comet, Vodafone, eBay, Boden and, then we need you to sign up for free to raise money while you shop! Read our fundraising page for more details.

Saturday 24th March 2012 – Touring Production of HMS Pinafore

March 2012

Charity Fundraiser for the Society for the Blind of Dewsbury, Batley and District

We gave a special performance of the show to help raise funds for the Society for the Blind of Dewsbury, Batley and District. The event was at The Whitfield Centre, 180 Soothill Lane, Batley, WF17 6HP.

Tickets cost £16.50 and included a supper and a glass of wine in the interval.

Charity fundraiser for Wakefield Riding for the Disabled

Friday 23rd March 2012 – Touring Production of HMS Pinafore

March 2012
We were invited by Wakefield Riding for the Disabled Association to put on a special fundraising performance at the Aulis Hall, Pennine Community, Wood Lane, Chapelthorpe, Wakefield, WF4 3JL.

Tickets were £12 and included superb hot buffet supper and a drink.

Did you miss HMS Pinafore? It’s not too late!

March 2012

HMS Pinafore, Act One

If you are quick, you can still see the show On Tour even though the run at Wakefield Theatre Royal has finished. Visit our Forthcoming Events page for details.

Book your tickets for HMS Pinafore Now!

February 2012
It was great to see Wakefield Sea Cadets in action at our rehearsal this week. Their semaphore, marching and piping are going to look and sound fantastic! In this diamond jubilee year, Pinafore is the perfect patriotic performance piece. A British Tar is a soaring soul, so book your tickets now!

Wakefield Sea Cadets signal PINAFORE
Come and see the show!

Tickets for HMS Pinafore now on sale!

January 2012

With the crew in place, rehearsals in full swing and Wakefield Sea Cadets practising their piping and semaphore, now is the time to book your tickets for this exciting collaborative production.

To book your tickets, download our booking form: Pinafore 2012 booking form

Group discounts and special offers are available by contacting Peter Bolton on 01924 362017 to discuss your requirements.

More Carol Singing

December 2011
The Society was asked to sing for Wakefield Council at Woolley Hall on Sunday 18th December. It was an enjoyable afternoon in a lovely setting. We hope the people tucking in to their Christmas lunches had a good time – the food smelled delicious!
We also braved the cold and wind again on Monday 19th as we sang outside Sainsbury’s Trinity Walk. As well as clinging on to the display board and music stand when they threatened to blow away, we were able to raise more very welcome funds for Wakefield Hospice and our society. Thank you to all the kind people who made donations.

Carol Singing at Wakefield Market

Carol Singing

December 2011
Hardy members of the Society were carol singing at Wakefield Market on the 10th December 2011, raising money for Wakefield Hospice and the Society. Thank you to everyone to donated so generously, and to the members who gave up their time. If you missed us, you can hear us again on the 19th December outside Sainsbury’s Trinity Walk at 6pm. Do come and say Happy Christmas!

Concert of Light Music in aid of the Dr Jackson Cancer Fund

November 2011
We performed a programme of varied light music, songs from the shows and Gilbert and Sullivan in a concert on Saturday 12th November, 7:30pm at Pontefract Central Methodist Church, Newgate, Pontefract to raise funds for the Dr Jackson Cancer Fund. Tickets were £5 and included tea and biscuits. There was also a raffle.

Thank you if you came and supported the event. We managed to raise over£650 for Dr Jackson’s.

Pinafore 2012 graphic
Pinafore 2012 graphic

HMS Pinafore in March 2012 – more come to join the crew!

November 2011
Another show run has started and we are in full rehearsal mode. Once we start on the floor in January, we will be delighted to welcome The Wakefield Sea Cadets on board. They will use the initial part of our production to showcase the Cadet corps, before becoming crewmen and Sir Joseph Porters escort.

This is a great way to encourage younger members into the Society, and at the same time raise much needed funds for The Sea Cadets.

Concert to support Wakefield Hospice

October 2011
Two local Hospice Fundraising Groups, the Sandal and Calder Grove group and the Durkar group invited Wakefield Gilbert and Sullivan Society to present a concert of light music to raise funds for Wakefield Hospice. The concert was on Friday 14th October at 7:30pm at St Helen’s Church, Barnsley Road, Sandal. Tickets were £5 and were available on the door.

The society rehearsed a mixture of show-songs and light music such as the Teddy Bear’s Picnic for the Hospice Concert, including a healthy dose of G and S favourites. Thank you if you came along to show your support for the Hospice (Charity number 518392). The concert raised £300 for Hospice funds.

Missed it?

If you missed the concert and want to be involved or to hear it, we will be performing a similar programme on Saturday 12th November, 7:30pm at Pontefract Central Methodist Church, Newgate, Pontefract to raise funds for Dr Jackson Cancer Fund. Do join us if you can, tickets and details are available from Maria on 01977 708686 and 01977 747491.

Society rehearsing for the West Bretton Concert

September 2011
Sunday 4th September 2011 at West Bretton Church, 3.00 to 4.45pm.
We were asked back again this year to perform another fund-raising concert for the church. We sang a programme of varied light music including lots of our favourite G & S pieces, but also modern classics like The Teddy Bear’s Picnic and Rhythm of Life (click on the link to see the whole programme: West Bretton 2011 programme). The performance went exceedingly well with a real “buzz” in some of the chorus music, interspersed with beautiful solos. Peter reprised his role of compère with aplomb, the chorus was securely directed by Jen and nimbly supported by Norman.

American production poster of HMS Pinafore from Wikimedia Commons

HMS Pinafore in March 2012 – come and join the crew!

September 2011
After a great turn out for the auditions, we are now putting together the cast for our 2012 production.

If you would like to join the chorus, there is no need to audition and we would be delighted to hear from you. Contact Jane on 01924 339538 if you would like to become a member or come along to a rehearsal to meet us and say hello. We are practising for our late summer concerts at the moment, and rehearsals for th[/caption]

On Saturday 9th April we took The Sorcerer on tour and performed the whole show for the Society for the Blind of Dewsbury, Batley and District at The Whitfield Centre, Soothill. To our horror, our lead tenor lost his voice and at the eleventh hour had to drop out. The cast was hastily re-deployed and in the end, every male principal part was played by a different cast member from the main show! Our fantastic men showed remarkable versatility and professionalism and managed to conjure up another magical performance. It was a pleasure to play to such an appreciative and enthusiastic audience. The performance was a fund-raising event for the Society for the Blind, and it was very successful with over £1000 raised for the charity.
If you are planning a fund-raising event and would be interested in working with us, please email and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.

The Sorcerer – Feedback

April 2011
The Sorcerer was a very enjoyable show to perform and we had a great week. Have a look at the Previous Productions page for photos and details about the show.

“I had a wonderful evening and the show was an absolute joy to watch!”

Mary Creagh, MP

Opening of Act 2 – ‘Tis Twelve I think

‘The Sorcerer’
March 30th – April 2nd 2011
Wakefield Theatre Royal

March 2011

Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre cordially invites you and your friends to a garden party to celebrate the engagement of his son Alexis to Aline Sangazure.

Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned when the Sorcerer turns up – find out what happens in the story.
To book tickets, call the Theatre Box Office: 01924 211311.

Sorcerer Programme

February 2011
There are spaces available in our show programme. If you would like to advertise in our programme, please contact Amy Downes on 01924 223373 or We are also very interested in hearing from anyone who would like to sponsor part of the production.

Concert for Pinderfield Hospital Volunteers

December 2010
On Monday 6th December 2010, Wakefield Gilbert and Sulivan Society provided musical entertainment for the Pinderfields Hospital Volunteers at their Christmas party. This was held at the Brookhouse Working Mens Club, 221 Barnsley Road, Sandal, Wakefield WF1 5NU. The G&S slot was from 1.45 to 2.15pm and a mixture of items from The Sorcerer and Christmas /acarols for everyone to sing was warmly received on a snowy day.

Data Protection Policy

November 2010
The committee is celebrating the completion of the Wakefield Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s Data Protection Policy!
A copy of our Data Protection Statement is available here: Wakefield Gilbert and Sullivan Data Protection Statement.

‘Come and Sing’ Event

September 2010
Everyone is invited to our free ‘Come and Sing’ event at 7.30pm on the 12th October at College Grove Sports Club. This is a chance for non-members to come and share the fun of singing G&S music. No previous experience necessary.

‘The Sorcerer’ – First rehearsal!

September 2010
Our first rehearsal for The Sorcerer is at 7.30pm on Tuesday 14th September at College Grove Sports Club. After that, rehearsals will be every Tuesday until further notice. Anyone wishing to take part in the show should contact the society on . We are particularly interested in hearing from tenors and basses, but everyone is welcome!

‘The Sorcerer’ – Come and join us!

August 2010
The build up to our 2011 show at the/a Theatre Royal, Wakefield has started. Auditions will be held at College Grove Sports Club on Monday 6th September from 7.30pm.  Music h4 rehearsals with Jim Newby our MD, start on Tuesday 14th September 2010. Anyone wishing to take part in the show or audition for a principal role should contact the society on . Click on the link for a copy of the audition pieces.

Wakefield G&S Society committee needs you!

August 2010
After the Annual General Meeting (3rd August 2010) we have a new committee, but there are still 2 vacancies. Committee members do not have to be society members. If you would like to be involved with guiding the Society and ensuring its long term future, please let us know by email on or by telephone to any of the commitee members on our Contact Us page.

Mikado Concert Version.

May 2010
Many thanks to everyone who took part in our “performance” of the Mikado at Soothill last Saturday (15th May 2010).  This was a new venture for the society, in that it was performed with most of the libretto and with the Principals in full costume, and of course with a 45 minute interval while the audience retired to another room to eat!   Our efforts were well received – so much so that we have been asked to perform again next year!  Another plus is that, unlike most shows, we did not make a loss!
Mikado Concert May 2010 Mikado Concert May 2010

Sad news

March 2010
“Members and Friends of Wakefield Gilbert & Sullivan Society, it is with great sadness that I must inform the Society that Mr John Milner passed away this afternoon (21st March)a href=””/h4.

A very keen walker, John was taking part in a charity walk in aid of The Wakefield Hospice this afternoon, when he collapsed from a heart attack.

John and Diane have been great supporters of our Society for a number of years, and both attended our Gondoliers performance on the last night with John taking his usual place along side Richard and myself to thank the Society for its hard work.

On behalf of the Society, I have offered our help with any tribute that Diane thinks is appropriate. When more information is available, we will let you know.”

Gordon Fawcett

The Gondoliers

March 2010
Our 2010 production of The Gondoliers was very well received and we had a great week. Thank you to everyone who came. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. All the dediv/atails about the show, including a selection of photos, can now be found on the Previous Productions page.

Charity Carol Singing

December 2009
16 society members performed our traditional carol singing at Morrisons (Dewsbury Road) on December 21st. Thanks to the generosity of Morrisons’ customers we were able to donate about £70 to Wakefield Hospice.  Thank you to everyone who took part.

The Gondoliers – 2010 – Auditions

August 2009
Auditions for our 2010 show, The Gondoliers, will be held on the 7th September 2009 from 7.30pm at College Grove. You must be a member to audition, but we are always happy to welcome new members. The audition pieces to learn are in this file. Please contact us if you want more information.

Business and Publicity Manager Needed!

July 2009
Want to get involved? We need a volunteer (non-members and non-singers welcome) to act as our Business and Publicity Manager. Please have a look at the details and Job Description on the “Join Us” page and contact us if you might be able to help.

Costumes for Hire

January 2009
Taking the opportunity presented by Homburgs’ (theatrical costumiers) closing down sale, we have acquired around 150 costumes, including many Principals’ costumes, for our next show The Mikado. These are all in extremely good condition. We also have a large number of wigs and some straw hats. We will be pleased to consider any requests to hire these costumes, so if you’re interested please see our “Contact us” link.

Charity Carol Singing

December 2008
The society was granted permission by Morrisons (Dewsbury Road) to sing carols in the foyer on December 23rd.  Our purpose was /p/td br /Charity Carol Singingto raise funds for the Wakefield Hospice. Thanks to the generosity of Morrisons’ customers it has been possible to donate an amount of £150 to the Hospice.  Well done to all those who took part!