front cover of the programme

For the 2002 / 2003 season MUGSS performed "The Gondoliers". This was the 6th time we've produced this show, the last being back in 1993. It gained us two MMA nominations and Chris Yate, our MD, won "Best Newcomer".

The Gondoliers tells the story of Marco and Giuseppe Palmieri. In the true spirit of Gilbert's "Topsy Turveydom", one of them is the rightful King of Barataria – but nobody knows who, as their father was too partial to a few drinks, and mixed up which of the babies in his care was the heir to the throne and which was his own son. With Barataria requiring a new king, they travel there to take up the reins of government jointly, until they can find out who is the heir.

The original production of this show at the Savoy Theatre in 1889 ran for 554 performances and (according to the Gilbert and Sullivan Archive) was performed privately to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle. Sadly, this was the last of the Gilbert and Sullivan shows written before they began to fall out - reportedly over the cost of a new carpet for the Savoy Theatre.