Gilbert and Sullivan festival fun returns this summer

Fans from across Nottinghamshire will be heading to the 27th annual International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, which is raring to go later this month.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 5:00 pm

Following the Covid cancellation of last year’s merriment, this year's world-famous festival opens on July 31, and runs until August 7, at Buxton Opera House, before moving to The Royal Hall, Harrogate, from August 8 to 18.

If anything can lift the spirits, put a spring back in the step and a smile on our faces of fans of the legendary duo from across Nottinghamshire it's a jolly good dose of the topsy turvy world of Gilbert & Sullivan.

The wit, hilarity and downright silliness of W S Gilbert’s plots, are a much-needed tonic in this strange new world.

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Buxton Opera House again plays to host to the Gilbert and Sullivan International Festival later this summer.
Buxton Opera House again plays to host to the Gilbert and Sullivan International Festival later this summer.

And the acclaimed National G&S Opera Company can't wait to get on board with their opening performance of the much-loved HMS Pinafore.

Simon Butteriss will direct and star in all-time favourite The Mikado, and the opera company will also bring along a brand-new production of Patience.

Award-winning Charles Court Opera present their enchanting - and timely - production of Iolanthe, Gilbert & Sullivan's sharp satire of power, privilege and parliamentary democracy. Featuring some of Sullivan's most stunning music, audiences can expect an evening of first-class entertainment and riotous fun.

Forbear! Theatre, directed by rising talent, Rachel Middle will bring outstanding productions of The Pirates of Penzance and The Yeomen of the Guard.

And for something completely different, on Friday, August 6 in Buxton, Simon Butteriss will present The Diary of a Nobody.

The comic masterpiece by noted Gilbert and Sullivan performer George Grossmith and his brother Weedon has been a best-selling novel since its publication in 1892.

Now Butteriss has adapted the book into a hilarious solo entertainment. We will meet him as the hapless Charles Pooter, struggling to retain his dignity in the face of accident-prone Fate, his headstrong wife Carrie, his wayward son Lupin and his not always supportive friends Cummings and Gowing.

Covid-19 restrictions mean that the productions have to be adapted this year to ensure the safety of performers, audience members and backstage staff, but the festival is confident that these necessary changes will not detract from the enjoyment of the performances.

Festival director Janet Smith said: “After the horrible year we have all endured, we cannot wait to get back into the theatre. Our seating plan in the theatre is socially distanced, and only 40 per cent of the usual seats are available, so we expect tickets to sell quickly”.

There will be an additional fringe programme of morning talks, masterclasses and afternoon concerts.

Buxton tickets are now on sale from Buxton Opera House. Call 01298 72190 or go to

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