PREVIEW: The Island Savoyards present… “Be Our Guest”

The Island Savoyards invite you to “Be Our Guest” at their gala concert celebrating 50 glorious years.  The cast will be joined on Shanklin Theatre stage by a large orchestra for this special performance; featuring favourite numbers from Gilbert and Sullivan to more modern-day musicals such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 9-5- The Musical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Beauty and the Beast, all presented in true spectacular Island Savoyard fashion.  With half a century of fabulous shows to choose from, there is sure to be something for everyone!

The Island Savoyards were formed in 1971, with the original intention of performing a one-off production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado to fill a void on the Island for this particular style of music.  This very first Island Savoyard production was so well received by audiences that the company decided to continue and the rest, as they say, is history!

For the next five decades, the Island Savoyards built a strong following performing Victorian comic “Savoy Operas”, so called because they were originally performed at London’s Savoy Theatre in the late 19th Century.  The genre is largely linked to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, such as HMS Pinafore, Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and Iolanthe; Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus  and Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow.  The Savoyards have performed all of these operettas and many more over the last half a century.

Recognising a change in audience and membership preferences, The Island Savoyards began performing West End musicals in 2011, the first of which was composer Alan Menken’s Beauty and the Beast. After the outstanding success of this first musical production, the company have entertained audiences at Shanklin Theatre with productions of Evita, Titanic, Grease, Sister Act The Musical, Jekyll and Hyde and My Fair Lady to name but a few.  After a quiet couple of years because of Covid19, the Savoyards returned in October 2021 with a successful run of the cult show Little Shop of Horrors.

Due to the pandemic, The Island Savoyards were forced to delay their 50th anniversary plans by a year but are determined to celebrate this special milestone in 2022. In addition to Be Our Guest, the company began their anniversary year by staging the powerful and thought provoking The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  They will then return to Shanklin Theatre in October with the Broadway classic Guys and Dolls.

Throughout the company’s long history, they have maintained some very loyal and hardworking members. None more so than Sheelah Stephens and Jillian Legg who have been the company secretary and treasurer since 1971. The Island Savoyards are honoured that these ladies will be joining them on stage for the celebration concert.

So, “Be Our Guest” and join The Island Savoyards for this one-night-only fabulous celebration evening on SATURDAY 11TH JUNE, 7.30pm at Shanklin Theatre. 

Tickets are £15.00 and available from the theatre box office on 01983 868000 or online at www.shanklintheatre.com.

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