What does 'DGSC' stand for?
Derby Gilbert and Sullivan Company.

What is DGSC and what do they do?
DGSC is a non-professional theatre company mainly performing the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in full and concert form in a variety of venues in and around the Derby area. The last eight years have also seen the company taking part in the annual International G&S Festival including a performance of 'Princess Ida' in Philadelphia in the USA leg of 1997. 2006 was our tenth appearance at the festival when we performed Andrew Nicklin's production of 'The Pirates of Penzance'.

Where do DGSC rehearse.
In the St. Werburgh's C of E School hall, Spondon, Derby. MAP

How many shows a year do the company perform?
We usually perform one week of one show per year with a reprise as part of the International G&S Festival. Occasionally when the show is short in length, such as 'HMS Pinafore' we may do a linked production on the same evening such as 'Trial by Jury' which is only about 30 minutes in length. 2001 was slightly different where we performed two different full productions within our usual annual show week. And in order to help boost revenue for our traditional show week, in 2000 and in 2002 we have also put together a fully orchestrated Gala Concert on the Sunday prior to the production week. 2002 marked a new era for DGSC when in addition to our Derby production we also took a full production to Seattle, USA. On the back of the success of the US tour we were invited by UBetcha Promotions of Nanaimo, Canada to bring a production to their fine city in 2005. How could this be topped? By taking TWO productions back to Nanaimo in 2007!

Where do DGSC perform their annual show?
For the past 23 years until 2003 we have performed at The Derby Playhouse, Theatre Walk, Eagle Centre, Derby. Unfortunately due to new policy at the Playhouse it is no longer viable for DGSC to use the theatre. Since 2004 we took a small step across the city to The Assembly Rooms (Box Office: 01332 255800 DGSC Tickets: 01332 735980). We also perform at least three annual concerts per year (more production info here) and the highly successful 'Dinner and Operetta Evenings' in association with our sponsor Hartley Hepworth (more D&O info here).

Where is the annual concert performed?
DGSC's main annual concert has now found its home in the excellent 'Sir Michael Bishop Hall' at Derby Grammar School (DGSC Tickets: 01332 735980). Previous years have been at the Derby Assembly Rooms, The Derby Guildhall and The Derby Playhouse. We also rewrite/rerun the concert for venues in Spondon, Wirksworth, Chilwell, Notts., Buxton and Ashbourne. We are lucky to have the talents of Stephen Godward now producing our concerts to a very high standard.

How did DGSC land Andrew Nicklin as Director?
Andrew was a founder member of the company and his heart has always remained with Derby G&S Company.

How long does it take to set up a DGSC show?
The show is usually decided shortly after the previous year's production. Main planning begins at least 6 months in advance which includes financial budgeting. Principal auditions are usually 5 months prior. Chorus begin vocal rehearsals 3/4 months prior with an 8 week concentration period from blocking the stage moves to fully running the show. Set manufacture takes 6/8 weeks. It takes approximately 2 days to set the stage up including lighting, electrics and technical and dress rehearsals. The show runs for a week and then it takes around 4 hours to strip the stage and remove the set.

How do you manage to get the set built in Buxton in just 10 hours for the festival then?
More by luck than judgment! It takes even more planning and dedication on behalf of the stage team who also follow us to the Festival. It has to be said that for Festival productions the company has to make a lot of compromises in order to get the show running in time. However in 1997 when DGSC went to the USA very few compromises were made and the American participants and professional theatre crew could not believe how large our set was, especially considering we had to take it all the way across the Atlantic and get it set up in 10 hours.

How much does the average show cost to put on?
The last budget for 'Pirates of Penzance' was in excess of UK20,000. Over UK8,000 of this is just for the hire of the theatre! In order to break even the company has to turn over more than UK30,000 per year. DGSC is not a 'rich' company and the casts are not made up of millionaires. The continuation of the company relies on the assistance of sponsors, patrons and the relentless fund raising events we carry out throughout the year.

Phew, sounds like you could do with a hand! How could I help DGSC?
Many people give financial assistance by becoming a Patron or Sponsor of the Company. If you would like actively to do more, there are places available on our Front of House Team and Back Stage Crew see our Become a Member page. And of course we are always on the look out for new performing talent. We welcome seasoned performers and those new to the stage alike young or old (see members page).

Do you accept children as members?
Yes we do. Although we do not use children in every performance, we do actively encourage their participation and enthusiasm for stage craft.

What are the company's plans for the future.
Our plans are constantly changing in order for the company to survive in an increasingly expensive business. Our concert season in the Autumn is becoming more diverse and the addition of the Operetta and Dinner Evenings to our schedule is keeping us busy. We had a successful 2008 with our first visit to the magnificent Chatsworth Theatre. Although the venue for our 2009 show is 'up in the air' at the moment, we know we are going back to Chatsworth with the Mikdo. Discussions are constantly taking place over future venues and more trips abroad are in the planning stage - maybe even Australia next?!?!

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