Yeoman of the Guard - aka snoozefest

Wam and I See The Yeomen Of The Guard

Last week the Wam (aka the Mom) and I headed off to Artscape to watch the latest offering from the Cape Town Gilbert and Sullivan Society. You may know this about me but I heart the theatre and especially musicals – check out my DVD Collection for evidence. Anyhoo, I won two tickets to any show for filling in a questionnaire on the Artscape website. Radness … and who else to take with the other ticket but the Wam, she did after all introduce me to theatre and is one of my standing theatre buddies. Problem is she and the Wad (aka the Dad) are off to Detroit for 3 months in August so this limited our choice a bit. But it turns out so did the offerings at Artscape. Sheesh was choice limited there wasn’t much the Wam and I were keen on. But we both enjoy the Gilbert and Sullivan stuff and decided Yeoman of the Guard, or YEAOWman as I like to refer to it, was the one to go for.

* Just a quick side note on the G&S Society has been around for over 60 years and puts on various performances of Gilbert and Sullivan. Think Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and such. But the performers are volunteers with regular day jobs (like you and me) who just happen to be talented (maybe not so much like you and me …)

Anyways off we go and first thing our ears are assaulted with the terrible busker who is in the walkway between the carpark and the theatre. If you have been to Artscape you know who I mean, if not take cottonwool. Since neither of us knew the storyline we got a programme as well, also slightly over priced these days. Programmes can set you back anything from R30 bucks to R100. I’m a bit of a programme collector … so I like getting them, but don’t always like parting with the cash. Anyways we sit down in the theatre and start to read the synopsis. Eish – starts with a spinning wheel, jailer and a number of other complicated storylines. One really great thing is that they have a full piece orchestra and it’s lovely to hear. I sat through the first half pretty darn confused and not knowing the music didn’t help much either … with lyrics like

“Who sipped no sup and who craved no crumb
As he sighed for the love of a la-dye.

Heighdy! Heighdy!
Misery me, lackaday dee
He sipped no sup and he craved no crumb
As he sighed for the love of a la-dye”

You can imagine my relief when interval began. We decided to stay, just because we wanted to find out what happens in the end. Needless to say the second half was much like the first, rather bizarre and slightly confusing. The singing was pretty good, but the acting pretty poor. But the greatest part of the entire show happened as the last song started up, my mom leant over and whispered to me (very proudly I might add) “OOOOOOOoooooooh I know this one” to which my response was “Only cos you heard it in the first half” and then we promptly burst into fits of giggles which turned into laughter which we were both trying to hide. All while the rest of the audience and stage were involved in the rather serious ending as “the dejected Jack Point who makes a last appeal to Elsie, then, in a frenzy of despair, falls insensible to the ground”. Needless to say we laughed all the way home, including straight past the awful busker on the way out! Hopefully G&S will bring back performances with music I actually know!


Photographs Eat Play Luv © (please request permission before using)

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