'Spatula' was performed on March 13th, 1999 at the Mount Royal
Hotel, Marble Arch, at the society's Annual Ball.
In 1856 an unpromising young student named William Schwenk Gilbert
entered the hallowed corridors of Kings College London to devote himself
to stern philosophies. Following the finest traditions of Kings, Will soon
found that he had abandoned his studies and was spending much of his time
in local ale houses, quaffing great jugs of Old Rosy's finest and leering
at the pedestrians who wore only four petticoats. It was in one such place
that he met the adolescent but brilliantly talented composer, 'Artie' Sullivan.
United by a love of beer and cheap innuendo, the pair were quickly collaborating
to compose a string of comic opera for a limited spell of performance at
Kings College. Smutty, unintellectual and lacking in any entertainment
value whatsoever, these operetta were poorly received by the public and
were consequently abandoned by their creators (although much of the music
was to be resurrected by Artie for use in his later works). Consigned to
the trash heap of history and often believed to be mythical, manuscripts
have recently been discovered in the vaults of King's College and have
been lovingly restored for public performance for the first time in nearly
one hundred and fifty years. Originally sponsored by a Westminster sausage
merchant, we present the resurrection of Will and Artie's lost works -
THE SAVELOY OPERAS.
Lost Opera Number One - 'Count Spatula'
or 'Castle Not-So-Adamant'
As a conscientious student, Will was never very far from the Lyceum
Tavern, a well known haunt of the struggling Irish novelist, Abraham ‘Bram’
Stoker. Waking up in a puddle of beer one evening, Will overheard Stoker
explain an idea he had for a gothic horror novel about a Transylvanian
aristocratic vampire. Never one to be troubled by copyright restrictions,
Will stole the idea, stitched Stoker up, and hurriedly completed his very
first collaboration with Artie – COUNT SPATULA.
|Count Lionel Spatula III
Sir Chortley Cummings
Dr. Helmut von Picklehaube
(the Count's Butler)
Dame Agnes Spatula
(the Count's Mother)
(Sir Chortley's Fiancee)
(a Village Maid)
|- Trevor Brown
- Luke Leeves
- Jon Pickles
- Huw Morgan
- Becca Robinson
- Kate Dews
- Karen Kelly