2nd Annual International

Gilbert & Sullivan Festival

Buxton, England, 1995

In the summer of 1995, we had the opportunity to travel with The Lamplighters to Buxton, England to participate in the Second Annual International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival, an event which brought theatrical groups from England, the United States and Australia to compete for the grand prize. The Lamplighters brought Princess Ida, and Walt was part of the tech crew. We brought my mother, who was making her first trip to England as well as having her first indepth experience with Gilbert & Sullivan.

We stayed at the Old Hall, which boasted that Mary Queen of Scots had stayed there. We met some of the "@" people, participants in Savoynet, a listserv for G&S enthusiasts. We recognized each other because we each wrote buttons with "@" on them.

Walt spent most of his time working with the Lamplighter set crew on putting together a set in less than a week. At night they partied at the Festival's Cabaret Club

My mother and I went off on excursions to places like Howath, the home of Jane Austen; Warwick Castle; and Chatsworth, home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.

In the evening we would meet at the Opera House in Buxton for the evening's Gilbert & Sullivan performance.

After Princess Ida had its performance, Walt was free to join us for a trip to York. Walt tried Lemon Ale, which he found he didn't like very much!

Our time in Buxon culminated with a giant formal banquet at which the awards were given out. The Lamplighters came away with five different awards, including the top prize. My own prize was a kiss from John Reed, former D'Oyly Carte patterman, and a long-time favorite of mine.

The entire Lamplighter group prior to the final banquet

When the festival ended, Walt, my mother and I took off for London, and then Amsterdam.

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