Their witty lyrics and catchy melodies have stood the test of time.
Now one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s best loved operettas, HMS Pinafore, is being performed next month by Putteridge Bury’s Gilbert & Sullivan Society.
Luton primary school teacher and mum-of-two Alison Gibbs, 52, has been a fan of the Victorian theatrical partnership ever since seeing Pirates of Penzance at the tender age of 11.
“Their music is timeless and beautiful and the words are so funny,” she smiles.
She’s been a member of PBGS – founded in 1971 – for the past 18 years and will be appearing in HMS Pinafore as well as directing Trial by Jury for the prestigious Harrogate International Festival of Gilbert and Sullivan in August.
“G & S are very popular with amateur companies because their work is out of copyright,” she says.
“You can alter the words and usually get by with just one set. And it’s really good fun singing in the chorus because there are always big finales.”
The mezzo is such a fan of musicals that she also belongs to Pirton Players and Stewartby Operatic. And she’s roped in her family too.
Daughters Stevie, 20, and Rhiannon, 18, have taken part in several PBGS productions and husband Alan has been press-ganged “because we’re so desperate for men.”
> HMS Pinafore is at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin from June 3 - 6.
Call 07946 264886 for tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.pbgs.org if you’d like to join.