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Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Victoria


A Comic Opera in One Act - Music by ARTHUR SULLIVAN Libretto by F.C.BURNAND

This frivolous yet charming tale, full of musical humour and sparkling tunes is a cheerful romp. Before Sullivan met Gilbert he composed a delicious one act farce, Cox & Box with humorist F.C. Burnand.

First performed privately in a men’s club, its popularity climbed and was the only work, not written by both Gilbert & Sullivan to be continually performed by the fabled D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, through its long history.

Sergeant Bouncer is renting a room to Mr Box, a printer who works at night, and to Mr Cox, a hatter who works by day. Neither know of each other’s existence, until one day Mr Cox is awarded a holiday. Returning home Mr Cox is horrified to find Mr Box asleep in his bed! Much hilarity follows as Sergeant Bouncer tries to sort out the mess. Sullivan provides a preview to the masterpieces he would later write with Gilbert. This is a gem of a mini-opera, and will bring much amusement and delight in this new production.

“It’s the wellspring of Gilbert and Sullivan’s musical style and has some terrific tunes. Burnand’s book and lyrics are crafted to perfection” - The Stage 2014

Presented as a double-bill “Cox & Box” and “HMS Pinafore”.


An Original Nautical Opera in 2 Acts - Music by ARTHUR SULLIVAN Libretto by W.S.GILBERT

Delight in this timeless classic - Gilbert’s raucus satire on rank and privilege, set to some of the saltiest, jauntiest and joyful nautical music ever written, by Arthur Sullivan.

H.M.S Pinafore was Gilbert & Sullivan’s first international success. It has sailed the musical seas since 1878, and has never, no never, and not even hardly ever fallen from popularity. The Captain’s daughter Josephine, is in love with the common sailor, Ralph Rackstraw. However, her father plans to marry her off to the unbearable but wealthy First Sea Lord, Sir Joseph Porter. After some hilarious plot twists, the lovers win through in the end. This comic opera is an ideal introduction to children, and young persons, of the joys of classical musical theatre.

Matinee Fun! Activities for kids from 1.15pm and at the intervals. Colouring competition, prize for best dressed girl or boy sailor and more!

“Pinafore was the comic opera duo’s first international hit, and remains one of the most popular of the entire series. Nearly 140 years after its 1878 premiere, Gilbert’s absurdist satire on the English class system feel as pertinent as ever. Sullivan’s score is an equally classy piece of work.” - The Stage 2016

“With numbers ranging from jolly music-hall songs, to stirring choruses, to duets, trios, madrigals and outright romantic arias Gilbert and Sullivan are magically able to simultaneously mock and sweetly embrace grand opera, melodrama, the class structure, the Royal Navy, and patriotism-as well as the very idea of being English.”

Presented as a double-bill “Cox & Box” and “HMS Pinafore”.

HMS Pinafore with Cox & Box
Direction by Daniel Sinfield
Musical Direction by Joshua Geddes
Choreographer Lauren Lee Innis-Youren
Kapellmeister Timothy Wilson
Designer and Production Manager Dave Angelico
4th - 6th October 2019
With the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Victoria Orchestra

4 Performances:
Friday 4th October 8:00pm
Saturday 5th October 2:00pm
Saturday 5th October 8:00pm
Sunday 6th October 2:00pm

Total running time approximately 2hrs 30mins (with 2 Intermissions)

Tickets can be purchased as part of a 2019 Subscription Package, and also from the Box office.

Darebin Arts Centre
Cnr Bell Street & St. Georges Road,
Preston VIC 3072

Box Office: (03) 8470 8280

Click here to purchase online tickets from the Darebin Box Office

Ticket prices:

Early Bird prices extended to midnight September 8th!

Adult: $45 (Early Bird $41)
Concession: $39 (Early Bird $35)
Student: $32 (Early Bird $28)
Child (Under 16): $25 (Early Bird $21)
Family of 3 (Max 1 Adult): $85 (Early Bird $75)
Family of 4 (Max 2 Adults):$126 (Early Bird $112)
Group 10+: $37
Under two years: free (must be seated on a ticket holders lap)

Enquiries: 0490 465 009

Principals - HMS Pinafore:
Captain Corcoran - Paul Tooby
Ralph Rackstraw – Nick Xiao
Josephine – Ella Broome
Buttercup - Nadia Migliardi
Sir Joseph Porter – Phil Elphinstone
Hebe – Julia Allsop
Boatswain - James Douglas
Carpenter - James Emerson
Dick Deadeye - Ben Klein

Principals - Cox and Box:
Cox - James Emerson
Box - Paul Tooby
Bouncer - Phil Elphinstone

Kevin Yap, Jamie Tampion, Clint Smith, Derek Butler, David Bradaska, Annette Dick, Emma Suttcliff, Robyn Hannan, Anna Castle, Lydia Klimek, Sarah Berry



Get Engaged Again at Malvern Theatre

After a successful summer soirée at Sassafras, (or maybe you missed out on tickets), join us at Malvern Theatre for a hilarious comedy about the everlasting perils of love, marriage and money.

Cheviot Hill is the central figure of the piece – who is continually falling in love at the drop of a hat. His romantic inconstancy is of intense pecuniary interest to two other men: Belvawney, who receives £1,000 a year as long as Cheviot remains unmarried; and Mr. Symperson, who shall receive £1,000 a year once Cheviot is either wed or dead.

This hilarious farce was the inspiration for Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest”. It is equally witty, clever, and great fun. It will be performed in the garden, and the living room at The Knowe in Sassafras, next summer. These become the Scottish border and a London salon in this gorgeously funny production, directed by Diana Burleigh, internationally recognised authority on the works of Gilbert & Sullivan.

“Engaged’ is W.S. Gilbert alone, without Sullivan, and it is still outrageously funny” – The Canadian Globe and Mail. 2016

4 Performances Running time approx 2hrs 30mins Friday 22nd November 8:15pm Saturday 23rd November 2:00pm Saturday 2rd November 8:15pm Sunday 24th November 2:00pm Principals:
Cheviot Hill - Kevin Yap
Belvawney - Benjamin Klein
Mr. Symperson - Andrew Ferguson
Angus MacAlister - Sam Hargreaves
Major McGillicuddy - Ken Knight
Belinda Treherne - Alison Knight
Minnie - Lilli Lowry
Mrs. MacFarlane - Anna Castle
Maggie FacFarlane - Naomi Tooby
Parker - Lucinda Halls

Musical accompanist - Geoffrey Urquhart
Production Manager - Robert Ray
Directed by Diana Burleigh

Malvern Theatre
29 Burke Road, East Malvern VIC 3145

Adult: $22 (no concessions) Groups 10+: $20 pp

Purchase tickets as part of a Subscription Package, or book tickets for Malvern Theatre at trybooking. CLICK HERE

Enquiries: 0490 465 009



GSOV 2019 Season


GSOV 2019

  • ENGAGED - February/March

  • Engaged is a humorous farce with a definite suggestion of the "topsy-turvydom" we expect from the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas. It pokes fun at the way love is idolised and selfishness is overlooked. Engaged will be produced as a semi-staged production at The Knowe in Sassafras for a strictly limited season of 4 shows in February/March 2019.


  • Die Fledermaus, composed by Johann Strauss II to a libretto by Carl Haffner and Richard Genee (after Meilhac and Halevy) is returning to Melbourne after a drought of over ten years. With stunning sets and costumes and elegant dances and staging, Die Fledermaus is a favourite with audiences worldwide - mistaken identities, flirtations at a masked ball, elegant frivolities and confusions of all kinds provide a hilarious vehicle for some of the most captivating music ever written. Die Fledermaus will be performed in English, and produced as a fully staged production with an orchestra at Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre for a strictly limited season of 5 shows from 25th to 28th of July 2019.

  • COX and BOX with HMS PINAFORE - October

  • Sullivan's first successful comic opera where a landlord lets a room to two lodgers, one who works at night (Mr. Box) and one who works during the day (Mr Cox) is paired with Gilbert & Sullivan’s evergreen comic operetta, HMS Pinafore, which delights audiences with its witty libretto and rollicking score. Set on a navy ship in the days when Britain ruled the waves, HMS Pinafore pokes fun at incompetent politicians, society norms and subconscious bias. This Season will be produced as a fully staged production at Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre, for a run of 5 shows 4th - 6th October 2019.

  • Return season of ENGAGED - November

  • If you missed out on tickets at Sassafras, here's your best opportunity to see this delightful Gilbert play. Engaged returns with a second season at Malvern Theatre on 22nd - 24th November 2019.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 March 2019 13:11

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