The Yeomen of the Guard 2012

<— Previous show: 48 Hour Iolanthe 2011 / Next show: The Mikado 2012 —>

The Yeomen of the Guard was the 40th show performed by the society. It was performed in Central Hall from 1st-3rd March 2012. Tickets were £10, £8 for concessions and £4 for students.

The chair was Morven Hamilton.




Artistic Directors
Chris Charlton-Mathews
Helena Culliney

Musical Directors
Koki Imada


Sir Richard Cholmondeley - James Knowles
Colonel Fairfax - Dan Stanford
Sergeant Meryll - James Gaughan
Leonard Meryll - Stuart Roberts
Jack Point - Tom Bruggenwirth
Wilfred Shadbolt - Stijn Hanson
Private Godfrey - James E. Butterworth
1st Yeoman - Peter Estdale
2nd Yeoman - Rob Philips
1st Citizen - Morven Hamilton
2nd Citizen - Alex Wakelam
Elsie Maynard - Anna Stephenson
Phoebe Meryll - Lauren Charlton-Mathews
Dame Carruthers - Victoria Stewart
Kate - Annabel Medland

Chorus of citizens
Pippa Loughran
Grace Morledge
Hannah Tomlin
Alison Channon
Sophie Collerton
Lois Cross


Violin I- Lucy Shepherd, Sian Lomax
Violin II- Emily Frost, James Scollick
Viola- Lucy Armstrong
Cello- Rachel Smith, Juliette Carter
Oboe- Tim Olive-Besly
Clarinet- Jennie Topham, Liam Brown, Tim Wingard
Flute- Chris Carr, Harriet Shaw
Bassoon- Carolina Rivas-McQuire
French Horn- Kate Baxter
Trumpet- Jeremy Bushnell
Trombone- George Offer, Lynnee Luecken
Percussion- Callum Spiers, Aydin Humphries
Keyboard- Dan Meeson (repetiteur), Naum Moger

Production Team

Set Design- Peter Estdale
Costume Design- Jenny Draper
Stage Manager- Ian Shaw
Lighting Operator- Toby Foster
Sound Operator- Ben Whitelam
Sound and Lighting Assistant- Esther Redhouse-White
Followspot Operators- Jo Mairlot, Clare Reid
Production Consultant- Chris Armstrong


Chair - Morven Hamilton
Secretary - Dan Stanford
Treasurer- Pippa Loughran
Sponsorship - Tom Bruggenwirth, Hannah Tomlin
Press and Publicity - Peter Estdale, Sian Lomax, Chris Armstrong
Ordinary Members - Stuart Roberts, Stijn Hanson, Thomas Newby
Webmaster - Lauren Charlton-Mathews, Chris Charlton-Mathews
Social Secretary - Annabel Medland
Costumes & Archive - Jenny Draper

Extended Programme


This synopsis was written by chorus member Alison Channon, and was felt by all in the society to be worthy of programmehood. You can read more of Ali's work at her blog, Linguisticali Speaking.

Act 1

PHOEBE: I’m obsessed with stalking in love with Colonel Fairfax! You think I’m a main character because I get the opening solo, but you can more or less forget me after this act. Also, he’s going to be executed, probably for being TOO DASHING. EVERYTHING IS THE WORST.
WILFRED: I’m obsessed with stalking in love with Phoebe! You can forget me too! DON’T FORGET ME, PHOEBE! I LOVE YOU FOREVER!

YEOMEN: We’re yeomen! We were cool, but now we’re old! We guard the Tower!
AUDIENCE: WTF is a yeoman?*
DAME CARRUTHERS: Peeeeople getting kiiiilled is preeeeetty greeeeeat.

PHOEBE: Sergeant Dad, you can’t kill Fairfax! He’s TOO DASHING!
SERGEANT MERYLL: I see no way of getting out of this. If only we had someone Fairfax could conveniently pretend to be so he could escape!


REAL!LEONARD: Hey family! Wait, why are you looking at me like that?
REAL!LEONARD: I’ll just disappear for the rest of the show, then.
SERGEANT MERYLL AND PHOEBE: We are fine with that.

FAIRFAX: My evil cousin inherits my estate if I die unmarried! I should marry someone!


CHORUS: Sing us a funny song or we’ll throw you in the river.
POINT: So there once was this guy… Who was sad because this girl didn't love him…
ELSIE: But then she did, so it was fine!
CHORUS: Well, that wasn’t funny at all.

LIEUTENANT: Pssst, poor and vulnerable female, want to marry my mate? It’s totally cool, he’ll be dead soon, and he definitely won’t escape at the last minute.
ELSIE: IDK, I don’t usually marry strange men. But I need the dowry to save my tragically ill mother! So since he’s going to die anyway, I’ll do it!
POINT: But she’s my girlfriend!
LIEUTENANT: Also, for comedy plot reasons, you’ll both be blindfolded.
ELSIE: I see nothing that could possibly go wrong with this plan. Count me in!

PHOEBE: I shall use my feminine wiles to get the keys to Fairfax’s cell!
PHOEBE: BRB, boiling self in bleach forever.

SERGEANT MERYLL: Here, Fairfax, put on this Leonard beard.
FAKE!LEONARD: I see nothing that could possibly go wrong with this plan.

YEOMEN: OMG, Leonard Meryll is joining the Yeomen! Do you think he’ll sign my Leonard Meryll t-shirt? This is just like in my Leonard Meryll fanfic! I heard he once ate a lion using only a delicate cake fork.
FAKE!LEONARD: Yeah, why not?
FAKE!LEONARD: Let’s proceed to sing a song about what very very close siblings we are. Wink wink.
FAKE!LEONARD: Well, I’d better go and fetch me from my cell for my execution. …Holy crap! I’m not there!
ELSIE: I see what could possibly have gone wrong with this plan. FAINT!

Act 2

EVERYONE: That Fairfax is a tricksy one.
DAME CARRUTHERS: You guys are the worst at being jailers.
YEOMEN: *existential despair*

POINT: I’ll bake you a cake if you say you shot him.

ELSIE: I’m delirious! The secret’s in the pudding! It was all an inflatable elephant! Flibbertigibbet! Also, I secretly married Fairfax!

WILFRED: He’s dead now! I promise!

POINT: So now will you marry me?
ELSIE: No, Fake!Leonard is much more dashing! What a truly excellent beard!
WILFRED: I totally see what’s going on here! Escape plot! Mind blown!
PHOEBE: I’ll marry you if you don’t tell anyone.
WILFRED: I would be fine with that.
PHOEBE: Gross.

DAME CARRUTHERS: I totally see what’s going on here! Escape plot! Mind blown!
SERGEANT MERYLL: I’ll marry you if you don’t tell anyone.
DAME CARRUTHERS: I would be fine with that.

REAL!LEONARD: I'm back! Oh look, Fairfax has been reprieved!

ELSIE: Fake!Leonard is so dashing! I’m going to marry him!
TELEGRAM: Your husband lives stop and he is free stop and comes to claim his bride this very day stop
FAIRFAX: Ahahaha, I am gatecrashing this wedding! You’re married to me!
ELSIE: Have pity!
FAIRFAX: No, mine is a heart of massive rock!
AUDIENCE: Tee hee. “Massive rock”.
ELSIE: I hate this wedding.
FAIRFAX: LOL j/k! I am Fake!Leonard!
ELSIE: And you tell me this secret by making me cry on my wedding day? Dick. Let’s make out!




Colonel Leonard Fairfax- Dan Stanford
Dan Stanford is boisterous, arrogant and appears very attractive to all the women he comes in contact with. He is extremely popular among his peers and immediately becomes the centre of attention whenever he enters a room, usually by bursting through a wall in a spectacular fashion. Unfortunately, most of this is not true.
What is slightly more true is Dan's current track record on the stage. Starting with Gondoliers 11 and Thoroughly Modern Millie and climaxing with a staring (this is not a typo - Ed) role in Panorama The Musical playing a journalist who is extremely popular among his peers and immediately becomes the centre of attention whenever he enters a room, usually by bursting through a wall in spectacular fashion.

Wilfred Shadbolt- Stijn Hanson
With his long and straggly hair, black t-shirts and lack of shoes you'd be forgiven for thinking that Stijn (pronounced "STEN") or "Oi, you!" for interested parties) would be more at home banging his head with a guitar than on stage singing baritone. And you'd be right but he does do the occasional musical theatre job and currently sings with York's premier drunkest-comedy-close-harmony vocal ensemble: The Phenomenotes
When not faking appalling accents on stage Stijn looks forward to solving the world's most difficult and enduring mathematical problems and conjectures. As you do.

Elsie Maynard- Anna Stephenson
After finally making it onto the stage last year as Tessa in Gondoliers 11 following the challenge of Musical Director in Sorcerer 10 and playing the highest note possible on her piccolo in various other G&S shows, Anna is delighted to return this year as Elsie Maynard. She is enjoying all that comes with being the soprano, though still insists she will not marry for money. Despite no longer being armed with a piccolo she still somehow manages to have the same effect on our ears and puts up quite a good fight against the orchestra. No glasses have been shattered. Yet.
She also wishes people would just burst into song and a pre-choreographed dance as she walks down the street and regularly has to be restrained from doing so herself.

Jack Point- Tom Bruggenwirth
When Tom isn't in this production or in the Computer Science department he also occasionally writes his own songs and plays many kinds of stringed instruments. Also the clarinet for some reason - nobody really knows why. He really likes playing Jack Point, but then it's difficult to tell what Tom does and doesn't like because he does most things with a massive grin on his face. Even playing the clarinet. This is possibly why he doesn't really do that anymore as it's not very good technique. Anyway, he digresses. On with the show. Where he'll be dressed as a carrot. It's a type of vegetable.

Sergeant Leonard Meryll- James Gaughan
Whenever the society has required a surly and powerful bass-baritone capable of singing Sullivan's most complex patter songs James has stepped up to the plate and delivered. Whenever the society has required some lecherous or half-mad nut-case on stage James has also been there. So whether it be Old Adam of Ruddigore 08 or the Grand Inquisitor or Gondoliers 11 James has found himself matched to the society's needs perfectly.
As Sergeant Meryll he says his chief weapon is surprise…And fear. Okay, his two chief weapons are surprise, fear…And ruthless efficiency. His THREE chief weapons are… (Erm, I think you're just copying from last year's programme - Ed)

Leonard Leonard Meryll- Stuart Roberts
Stuart is a Gilbert and Sullivan Society stalwart and, after being let loose on the roles of the sorcerer in [[Sorcerer 11]]] and The Lord Chancellor in 48 Hour Iolanthe, he is very happy to be playing the part of Leonard Meryll.
Taking his cue from the rather insistent description over the course of the show of Leonard as brave, Stuart wished to enter the stage via bungee cord, or possibly fired from a cannon, but this was rejected as more recklessly foolhardy (not to say expensive*) than brave.

*Mostly expensive, actors can be replaced; budget less so.

Phoebe Leonard Meryll- Lauren Charlton-Mathews
Lauren is delighted that this year gives her the chance to escape from her personal hell of playing aging dominatrices or putting on horrendous regional accents and comedy walks. Being cast as a good-time girl with a heart of gold and a penchant for "indiscriminate caress" (Gilbert's words) wasn't exactly what she had in mind when she auditioned for a part "that played to her strengths" … at least there's no bonnet involved.
Lauren would like to thank her mother; her father; and God; but most of all her husband who has contributed literally none of this biography.

Sir Richard Cholmondeley- James Knowles
You ask what is our policy? I can say it is to wage war in theatres, streets and parks; to wage war against monstrous tedium. That is our policy.
You ask what is our aim? I can answer in one word: it is ovations; ovations at all cost; ovations in spite of all fatigue; ovations however long and hard the show may be; for without ovations there is no satisfaction.
We shall go on to the finale.
We shall fight on the stages.
We shall fight in the rehearsal rooms.
We shall fight in the orchestra pits.
We shall defend our plays, whatever the cost may be.
For never in the field of musical theatre was so much owed by so many to so few.
Yes, I may be camp madam, but in the morning I shall be… oh…

Dame Carruthers- Victoria Stewart
This is Victoria's second main show with the society, having been in the chorus for last year's Gondoliers 11 and a hyena, tiki bird, muse and a love-struck princess (among other things) in the Disney-themed 2010 summer show Be Our Guest. This year she has progressed to occupy the battleaxe-alto-role while the usual suspect is artistically direction (no, not Chris…) and is very much looking forward to it!
She hails from a musical family that even includes a couple of D'Oyly Carte opera company members (this should in no way be used as a gauge for her own musical prowess) and owes her love of G&S to her Granda, who took many a lead role and musically directed several of Gilbert and Sullivan's operas in the local amateur operatic society.

Kate- Annabel Medland
Having grown up in South London, Annabel is used to gangster rap and the blaring sounds of a Brixton briefcase. To protect her rep, her love for sung (rather than spoken) lyrics and the hand jive had to be kept under wraps.
From a musical family, Annabel has been singing since the time she could talk and also plays the cello and piano. Having debuted in Central Hall last year as Gianetta, Annabel went on to play various roles for the University of York Opera Society, including playing the First Priest in last year's production of The Magic Flute. Those familiar with Mozart's opera might think this is weird considering it is a male role, but it makes a lot more sense in context.


Artistic Directors- Chris Charlton-Mathews, Helena Culliney
Chris is a veteran G&S director, having masterminded productions of Pirates 07 and Ruddigore 08. By contrast, Helena has spent the last few years on stage monopolising the "old battleaxe" roles and in becoming a director she continues this fine tradition.
Packed with extensive knowledge of Gilbert and Sullivan, a true passion for the subject matter, and a love of fine wine they have made an excellent directorial pairing.

Musical Director- Koki Imada
Some say he can't write a bio…and they would be right. His girlfriend is writing it instead.
Koki started playing the piano at age 4; he progressed through his grades earning his Diploma of the ABRSM when 18. He first joined the society to accompany Ruddigore 08 (for which he learned the entire score in a week) and quickly became a legend.
The Yeomen of the Guard will be Koki's first foray into the world of musical directing and he hopes he won't lose his baton in all the excitement because it is on loan from Sergeant Meryll! Outside the society Koki is a post-doctoral researcher for the York Plasma Institute. However don't let that scare you; as physicists go he is quite normal…ish.

See Also:

The Yeomen of the Guard
Chris Charlton
Helena Culliney
Morven Hamilton

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