Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, as with many other theatre, music and cultural events, it is clear we are unable to go ahead with this year's production of Ruddigore as planned. Clearly, we are all very disappointed, but there really is no other option.
We currently hope to be able to postpone the show until November, and would love to see you all then. Please watch this space for more information.
We will be in touch with everyone who has already booked tickets to offer either to transfer them to the show in November, or to arrange a refund.
By W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan
Ruddigore, or The Witch's Curse" was the 10th collaboration between Gilbert and Sullivan. The "supernatural opera" opened on January 21, 1887 at the Savoy Theatre and ran for 288 performances.
The Opera was designed as a parody of a Victorian Melodrama, the highlight of which is the Ghost scene in Act 2, where the portraits of the Murgatroyd family come to life, to hold Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd to account, for not carrying out the conditions of the Murgatroyd curse. The music that Sullivan wrote for this scene, is genuinely thrilling, and some of the best that is to be found in all the Savoy Operas.
At the time of writing this piece, Sullivan was at the peak of his creative powers, and the whole score is consistently tuneful. Gilberts lyrics are equally clever, and he created some of the most complex characters in all the Operas, and plenty of his trademark topsy-turvy situations.
During the initial run Gilbert and Sullivan made several alterations to the piece, including changing the title from ‘Ruddygore’ to ‘Ruddigore’, to protect Victorian sensibilities, and the ending which had originally seen the Ghosts brought back to life!
It was not revived by the until 1920 by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company when, further cuts were made, including the duet ‘The Battles Roar is Over’ and a patter song for Sir Ruthven in Act 2. In addition the original Overture and the Act 2 Finale were substituted with new versions. In the intervening years many of these alterations have been reversed, and our 2020 production will reinstate several of the original elements.