Manchester Universities Gilbert and Sullivan Society (commonly known as MUGSS) has been going for a long time. We celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2001.
Despite the Society's age fresh ideas are continually being brought into the Society. Freshers and quite often someone from the last year's audience or orchestra join each year. Whilst some people graduate and leave, some stay in Manchester and continue in the Society, lending some historical stability!
In Spring each year we put on a show in a theatre for a week. The new show is chosen at the end of the previous academic year. We then get a Director and Musical Director over the summer months and begin rehearsing in the autumn term.
We always perform the Gilbert & Sullivan light operas. Because of the student population turnover it is rare that anyone has performed the same opera twice.
Aside from the music and the ham-acting in which we all indulge, the Society is a firm believer in a great social life. With that in mind a Social Secretary on the Committee makes sure that weekly events happen. They also ensure that larger events such as an annual Tarts' Party, a Slave Auction and the Summer & Christmas Balls all go well.
When we choose the show's principals we always take the approach that anyone can audition for anything. We are more than willing to listen to every single member of the society audition for a role in the show.
Each year we recruit a new show orchestra. We believe that the orchestra should be the size required by Sullivan's music. We also get the very best musicians we can.
We have a technical crew whose jobs are to build the sets that have been designed. Some of these sets can get very complex. One year we had a helicopter landing on stage and letting people out. We've also had almost a full ship on stage for the Pirates of Penzance and the year we did HMS Pinafore and Trial by Jury we had a set that rotated and changed from a ship into a courtroom (very quickly, to music!).
All in all, a busy but highly enjoyable time is had by all members. You are welcome to join us. See the rest of the site for further details of how to join up.