Let the music play to mark 80 years of Kirkcaldy Gilbert & Sullivan Society

KGASS's company in costume at the Adam Smith Halls for 'The Gondoliers' in 1950.
KGASS's company in costume at the Adam Smith Halls for 'The Gondoliers' in 1950.

Kirkcaldy Gilbert and Sullivan Society is to mark the end of its 80th anniversary celebrations with a special concert.

The company began rehearsals for its first ever show in 1949, though had formed a whole decade earlier, but was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War.

An FFP picture of 'The Gondoliers' in 1950.

An FFP picture of 'The Gondoliers' in 1950.

Kathleen Brown chairman, said the concert was a culmination of anniversary events and explained that it is a change from the company’s main shows.

“This is different from the operettas that we perform at the Adam Smith Theatre,” she said, “it’s done in a choir formation.

“There will be just over 30 of us singing with a pianist Douglas Clark and our MD will be Robert Garner.

“In March we always have an operetta which is costumed and staged, but in recent years we’ve started holding a concert in June at the Old Kirk.

Cover of the programme for KGASS's production of 'Iolanthe' in 1951.

Cover of the programme for KGASS's production of 'Iolanthe' in 1951.

“It’s always been very successful and well attended, we’d love to see around 200 people there, and it’s a nice change for some of the company’s members.

“It’s been a great year. We’ve had a number of different events, from a barbecue to a quiz night, and we had loads of fun performing the show ‘Patience ‘68’.

“So what we’ve decided to do for the 80th anniversary concert is to take music from the 1940s and go all through the decades to the present day. It’s all popular music, not Gilbert and Sullivan.

“We’ll be having a go at things like ‘Chattanooga Choo-Choo’, jazzy stuff and we’re even doing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’!

A poster for KGASS's 80th anniversary concert in June.

A poster for KGASS's 80th anniversary concert in June.

“We’ll be taking it right up to ‘Hallelujah’ and something from ‘La La Land’. But there will be one little section right at the end to publicise next year’s show, which is ‘The Gondoliers’.

Kathleen said that next year’s show was picked for a special reason.

“‘The Gondoliers’ was the first show that KGASS put on after it had stopping performing during the Second World War, with a run at the then-named Adam Smith Halls in 1950,” she said.

“The company was actually constituted in 1939. The original minute book shows that subscriptions for members were five shillings.

“They met on March 22, 1939, at Stuart’s Tea Rooms on the High Street and decided to form the company.

“Everything was going along nicely, then the war broke out. So after it finished in 1945 it took them a while to get things going again and it wasn’t until February 1950 that it put on ‘The Gondoliers’.

“So this concert will be a great way to end our celebrations.

“We’ve had a great time and I think it’s good to show that a company that has been around for as long as we have is still going strong.”

• The concert will be held on Friday, June 7, at the Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy.

Tickets are £12 or £6 for children and student and are available online at www.kirkgandss.co.uk or by calling 07870 901606.