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The Cotswold Savoyards

Excellence in musical theatre in and around Cheltenham


15th - 19th May 2018
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

Music by Frederick Loewe
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

Stage Director: Ginny Burge

Musical Director:  Karen Gillespie



17th & 18th, 22nd - 25th November 2017
The Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham

By Stephen Sondheim

Stage Director: Caroline Young

Musical Director:  Sue Black


Meet Desirée, a one woman wrecking ball of love and lust who leaves a trail of broken hearts wherever she goes. Things are awkward enough as she starts an affair with old boyfriend Fredrik Egerman right under the nose of her current lover Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, but when their wives Anne and Charlotte find out, things start to get REAL.

What’s a girl to do? In Desirée’s world the only thing to do is invite the whole gang for a weekend away with her family, throw in songs, banter, the mother of all parties and hope for the best. With everyone in one place, romance and the promise of second chances in the air, things are bound to work out right?

A witty story of love, lust and regret, Stephen Sondheim’s elegant wordplay and musical mastery won four Tony Awards, and features the classic ‘Send in the Clowns’. ‘A Little Night Music’ will fire your passion and leave you breathless.

Click here for more information.



16th - 20th May 2017
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

By Gilbert & Sullivan
Musical adaptation by William Elliott

Stage Director: Diana Dodds

Musical Director:  David Manifold


The story of "The Pirates of Penzance" follows a familiar Gilbert and Sullivan narrative of thwarted love, disguised identities combined with a gentle mocking of Victorian class and status.

Frederick, the romantic hero, is due to be freed from his bond to the ineffectual pirates when he falls in love with Mabel, one of the many "daughters" of the Major General. Unfortunately, Frederick is also loved by Ruth, an older character role. A band of less than courageous policemen are sent to apprehend the pirates who have captured all of the daughters and plan to do their worst and marry them! All ends happily when it is revealed that the pirates are indeed peers of the realm. "Joyous glee" follows with all characters suitably paired off.

Click here for cast information.



21st - 26th November 2016
The Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham

By Gilbert & Sullivan

Stage Director: Simon Lewis

Musical Director:  David Manifold


"All men are fools, and what makes them so is lacking intelligence like what I have got!" believes militant blue-stocking Princess Ida, misandrist principal of the ladies-only University of Castle Adamant, where not even a cockerel is allowed to crow each morning to rouse the feminist undergrads. Some diplomatic small print, however, requires Ida to marry Prince Hilarion to honour a 20-year-old peace treaty with rival Castle Hildebrand. Will Ida defiantly remain prince-less, or will Hilarion finally graduate to married strife, sorry, life?

Gilbert & Sullivan's clever sideswipe at the influence of Charles Darwin and burgeoning women's education, uniquely couched in blank verse and driven by a sparkling music score, remains a deft battle of the sexes, giving an entirely new meaning to the term "University Challenge", whilst addressing all manner of obscure subjects. What is a gentle heigholet? What is the botanical name for a buttercup? Why is Lady Blanche such a misery guts? Is this opera really set in Hungary? Let the Savoyards enlighten you!

Click here for cast list.



17th - 21st May 2016
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

Book by Guy Bolton & P.G. Wodehouse
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter

Stage Director: Sue Bennett
Musical Director: David Manifold
Choreographer: Lisa Crowhurst

Billy instantly falls in love with a beautiful girl he meets in a taxi. When he discovers she's boarding the SS American the same London-bound ship his boss and co-worker Reno are boarding, he sneaks aboard himself. The beautiful girl, Hope, is engaged to stuffy British aristocrat Lord Evelyn, but that doesn't stop love-struck Billy. With the help of other passengers, Billy seeks to shake Reno, whose love he doesn't return, and capture the heart of the girl of his dreams, and all without hurting anyone's feelings.

This is one of Cole Porter's best musicals. It is light, frothy, frivolous, full of song, dance and will be a great company show. It is set mainly on board ship and has a wide range of characters from old(ish) to young(ish).

Click here for cast list and photos.



20th - 28th November 2015
Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham

By Stephen Sondheim

Stage Director: Caroline Young
Musical Director: Allan Gillespie

Stephen Sondheim's 'Follies' is an aching recognition of tarnished dreams and lost innocence, set during the reunion of a bunch of Ziegfeld-style hoofers on the eve of the destruction of the theatre where they performed 30 years previously. Full of complex ironies and memory 'Follies' is as much about the death of the American dream as any Arthur Miller play.

Its score – including 'Losing My Mind', 'I'm Still Here' and 'In Buddy's Eyes' – squashes the still prevalent idea that Sondheim can't write a tune. In its clever use of pastiche it's a love letter to Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and all those other writers who made the musical one of 20th-century America's major contributions to the arts.

The audience will be haunted by the memory of a musical which brings past and present into collision on stage, placing slender young ghosts and middle-aged wobbling flesh side by side in an endlessly bewitching and unsentimental pas de deux of regret.

Maybe that is part of the greatness of 'Follies'. The less it is done, the more you want to see it. The further you are away from it, the more it ensnares you. The older you get, the more it speaks to you. 'Follies' plays exquisitely on the unreliability of memory and the transitory nature of theatre; it is a stark warning against the distorting dangers of nostalgia. But those of us who glimpse it are caught up in its spell and yearn to stop it vanishing through the cracks of memory.

Click here for cast list, photos and to read the NODA review.



9th - 13th June 2015
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

By Gilbert & Sullivan

Stage Director (HMS Pinafore): Gill Cogzell
Stage Director (Cox & Box): David Manifold
Musical Director: David Manifold

'Cox & Box' was a collaboration between F.C. Burnard, editor of Punch magazine, and Sir Arthur Sullivan. It's a fast moving one act story of two men renting the same room from the rascally landlord Bouncer. Cox works by day and Box by night, so Bouncer gets double rent for his single room until Cox, having a day off, confronts Box! In the ensuing mayhem, the two tenants learn they've much more in common than simply sharing a room.....

After this heady excitement, we take you off to sea with a traditional setting of Gilbert and Sullivan's 'H.M.S. Pinafore' where Captain Corcoran's daughter, Josephine, falls in love with lowly able seaman Ralph, despite her father's wishes that she marry the First Sea Lord, Sir Joseph Porter. But surely true love must triumph over rank and station?!

Click here for cast list and photos.



21st - 29th November 2014
Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham

Book By George S. Kaufman
Music and Lyrics By: George & Ira Gershwin

Stage Director: Mavis Boulton
Musical Director: Sue Black
Choreographer: Gill Cogzell

All is farcical in love and war when Horace J Fletcher (of Fletcher’s American Cheese Co) convinces the US Government to declare war on Switzerland for protesting against a tax on imported cheese. Throw in two pairs of star-crossed lovers, an overbearing mother, corrupt officials, and a man who seems to have stepped out of a Marx Brothers movie, and you have a side-slitting romp that takes a satirical swipe at almost every American institution there ever was.

The Gershwins take on Gilbert & Sullivan at their own game in this hilarious musical comedy whose magnificent score includes The Man I Love and the title number.

Click here for cast list and photos.



20th - 24th May 2014
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

By Gilbert & Sullivan

Stage Director: Margaret Craven
Musical Director: David Manifold

What does a love affair between a Wandering Minstrel and a Ward of the Public Executioner, an older woman out for revenge, a haughty 'know all', and the Emperor of Japan have in common? You might well ask, but then this is the Topsy Turvey world of Gilbert and Sullivan's 'The Mikado'.

Written in 1885, The Mikado is packed with toe tapping tunes that were the 'pop' songs of their day, and combined with wonderfully witty dialogue this is a show which provides good fun and all round entertainment.

Chosen by the Cotswold Savoyards to mark their 100th production and given a more modern twist without losing any of the original Savoy splendour, this is one for all the family to enjoy.

Click here for cast list and photos.



25th - 30th Nov 2013
Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham

Conceived for the stage by
    Steve Cuden & Frank Wildhorn
Book and Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse
Music by Frank Wildhorn
Orchestrations by Kim Scharnberg
Arrangements by Jason Howland

Stage Director: Sarah Dyer
Musical Director: Allan Gillespie

This gothic musical is an epic tale of the battle between good and evil.

Jekyll & Hyde is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novella about a brilliant doctor whose experiments with human personality create a murderous counterpart. Convinced the cure for his father's mental illness lies in the separation of Man's evil nature from his good, Dr. Henry Jekyll unwittingly unleashes his own dark side, wreaking havoc in the streets of late 19th century London as the savage, maniacal Edward Hyde.

This is a moving and lasting musical theatre experience with songs including Façade, Someone Like Me, This is the Moment and the devastating Confrontation.

Click here for cast list.

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd on behalf of Music Theatre International of New York.



4th - 8th June 2013
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

By Gilbert and Sullivan

Stage Director: Simon Moss
Musical Director: David Manifold

The bat in the moonlight flies! it is nearly midnight in the sleepy Cornish fishing village of Rederring and the evil Sir Despard, bad baronet of Ruddygore, desperately seeks a victim, so that he can commit his daily crime. Gilbert and Sullivan’s spookiest show, Ruddygore, is a hilarious send-up of a Victorian melodrama, and is presented by the Cotswold Savoyards in a brand new production, including some music cut soon after the 1887 opening and not heard in Cheltenham before.

Created by the same directorial team that brought you the NODA award winning Pirates of Penzance at the Everyman in 2011, this Ruddygore will be full of crazy new twists, while respecting tradition.

Expect scary effects, stunning musical sequences, madcap characters and a puppet show!!



27th November to 1st December 2012
Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham

By Gilbert and Sullivan

Stage Directors: Keith and Sally Swinford
Musical Director: David Manifold

Please click here for cast list.

A year ago all the girls from the local art college were engaged to the men from the TA. Now, however, the girls have all fallen in love with Bunthorne, a poet.  Unfortunately, Bunthorne loves Patience, a local milk float driver, even though Patience has no feelings for him. In fact Patience cannot see why all the girls are so madly in love with Bunthorne anyway, until Lady Angela explains that to really love someone has to be an unselfish act.

Patience suddenly finds herself face to face with Grosvenor, a street poet and old flame, and the only male that she has ever had any feelings for. She realises that to love him now would be selfish, so immediately agrees to marry Bunthorne, as that would be selfless.  The soldiers think that things will now go back to normal, only to find that the girls have made Grosvenor the object of their affections.

Who will end up with who?

Some feedback from our audiences:

“Consistently great performances, love G&S but enjoy new shows too. Good balance.” - Titanic the Musical, 2012

“Just a fantastic company. I love all your shows.” - Titanic the Musical, 2012

“Over the years we have seen Savoyards on stage and concerts. Always entertaining and of a high standard.” - Utopia Limited, 2011

“Excellent show - thoroughly enjoyed. Good alternative interpretation of the plot” - Utopia Limited, 2011


Saturday 30th June 2012
Town Hall, Cheltenham

Guest Star: Donald Maxwell

Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra

To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the Cotswold Savoyards presented a Gala Concert, in association with the Rotary Club of Cheltenham North. Accompanied by Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra, a choir of 50 voices and superb soloists including guest star and company President, the international baritone Donald Maxwell, performed selections from Gilbert & Sullivan operas and other musical favourites.




17th to 21st April 2012
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston
Book by Peter Stone

Stage Director: Paul Scott
Musical Director: Allan Gillespie

On 10 April 1912, RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton on its maiden voyage to New York.  The largest, most luxurious ship ever built, and deemed to be ‘practically unsinkable’, it carried over 2,200 passengers and crew, including some of the wealthiest and most influential people of the time.  Four days into its journey, the Titanic struck an iceberg.  Within three hours, the great ship had sunk beneath the waves and less than one third of those on board survived.

To commemorate the centenary of the sinking and the society’s own 50th anniversary, The Cotswold Savoyards are proud to present the multi-Tony award winning musical Titanic.  Based on numerous actual characters aboard the great ship, this show focuses on their dreams, hopes and aspirations – as the story of the launching, the collision with the iceberg, and the sinking is played out against the background of the rigid class-distinctions of the Edwardian Age.
“The greatest American musical to have been written in 15 years.  A score which soars… A masterpiece!” - Sheridan Morley, The Spectator