History of the Group

Northampton Gilbert & Sullivan Group owes its origins to an advertisement placed in the Chronicle & Echo on the 6th October 1953, which directly led to the formation of the group.

Patricia and John Rickerd, founders of the group, were seeking like minded individuals in order that the “Savoy Operas” might be performed in Northampton and since those early beginnings, we are very proud to have presented the entire canon of Gilbert & Sullivan Operettas at least once.

Our first production, The Mikado, opened at the Town Hall on Monday 7th February 1955 and  we have been extremely lucky to have performed in just three different venues; Northampton Repertory Theatre, The Guildhall, Derngate and our current home The Royal Auditorium.

Since that first production we have presented 59 Operettas and 9 Curtain raisers to a conservatively estimated 80,000 people*.

We have erected 68 sets and had over 2,800 people performing on stage (not at the same time) in more than 3,500 costumes; an incredible achievement for an amateur group.

On the 5th October 2013 we reached our 60th Anniversary.  To mark the occasion we celebrated in style with a Celebration Concert in the Royal Auditorium charting the history of the group, our history of producing the G&S Canon and included extracts of each of the operettas.  

The audience included John Rickerd, one of the founders of the group, previous performing members, group vice-presidents, patrons and frogs (friends of Gilbert and Sullivan), the mayor and mayoress of Northampton and, of course, our supporters.

The concert was followed up by a Gala Reception, the perfect way to end this momentous occasion.

*Based on an average of 200 people per performance as at 01/10/2013

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