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{$text['mgr_teal1']} G&S Cook1

A photograph album of "HMS Pinafore" - 1922

by George Cook
Album provided by Brenda Eldridge; Transcribed by Alan D Craxford.



George Cook's album
The fly leaf

George Cook's album and the flyleaf inscription

Introduction

George Cook (1883 - 1968) was an enthusiatic Savoyard and, by all accounts, had a fine tenor voice and was an accomplished actor. Portraits of him in a variety of operatic leading roles have graced the walls of our family homes for many years. His love of the works of Gilbert and Sullivan (perhaps kindled in the early twentieth century when WS Gilbert was still alive) has filtered down through three successive generations.

We recently discovered a photograph album which he put together and annotated of the series of performances by the Leicester Amateur Dramatic Society (of which he was a member) at the Royal Opera House, Leicester in March 1922. Each evening consisted of "HMS Pinafore" in which he played the lead tenor Ralph Rackstraw and "Trial By Jury". Photographs of "HMS Pinafore" are shown on this page; the remaining images can be found at A photograph album of "Trial By Jury". An illustration of the facade of the Royal Opera House can be found on the HMS Pinafore / Trial By Jury 1922 Programme page.

The players

The Lovers

Ralph Rackstraw, An Able Seaman

Ralph Rackstraw
"Only a top-man; a mere foremast hand"

The Captain's daughter

Josephine
"The pearl of minstrelry"

The Officers

Sir Joseph Porter KCB; First Lord of the Admiralty

Sir Joseph Porter KCB
"A British sailor is any man's equal excepting mine!"

Captain Corcoran, Commanding HMS Pinafore

Captain Corcoran
"Hardly ever swears a big big 'D'!"

Love interests

Little Buttercup; A Portsmouth Bumboat Woman

Little Buttercup
"Come of your Buttercup buy"

Cousin Hebe; Sir Joseph's First Cousin

Cousin Hebe
"I'll not desert you"

The ratings

Dick Deadeye; Able Seaman

Dick DeadEye
"My name's agin me, but I ain't as bad as I seem"

The Boatswain

The Boatswain
"I'm shocked. That's what I am - shocked"

The Midshipman and The Dancer

The Midshipman

The Midshipman
"A British sailor is a splendid fellow"

The Hornpipe dancer

The Hornpipe Dancer
"All sailors should dance hornpipes"


Continued in column 2...


The performance

"HMS PINAFORE" - GILBERT & SULLIVAN

Performed by the Leicester Amateur Dramatic Society at
The Opera House, Leicester. March 22nd to 26th 1922.

The Cast
Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B. ....................... Mr J.H. Taylor
Captain Corcoran .................................... Mr Reginald Green
Ralph Rackstraw ..................................... Mr George Cook
Josephine ................................................. Miss Louie A Hill
Cousin Hebe ............................................ Miss Dorothy Barfield
Little Buttercup ......................................... Madame Lily Callis
Dick DeadEye ........................................... Mr A.E. Aston
The Boatswain ......................................... Mr L.E. Cartwright
The Bosun's Mate .................................... Mr J.W. Johnson
The Midshipman ...................................... Master Clarrie Goude
Able Seaman (Hornpipe Dancer) ......... Miss Winifred Rink

PRESS COVERAGE

The following article appeared in the Leicester Mercury in March 1922.

Cutting from the Leicester Mercury

Leicester Mercury
March 1922"

"The Amateur's Performances

"A performance of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera by the Leicester Amateurs is as welcome as the flowers in May. The freshness, the enthusiasm and the all-round excellence of the representations are like a tonic after feeble and familiar revues and some of the uninspired muscial plays given by jaded and not always clever professionals. I thoroughly enjoyed the performances of 'Trial By Jury' and 'H.M.S. Pinafore' at the Opera House this week. I shall not attempt to go into critical detail for the simple reason that there was so much that was good that it is not necessary to quibble about minor defects.

An Acquisition

The work of the chorus, as usual, was of the best, the staging and the stage management left nothing to be desired - in this respect the permanent staff are entitled to share the honours - and both operas showed that great care had been devoted to their production. Generally speaking the principals did well. In Mr. George Cook, who appeared as Ralph Rackstraw, the Amateurs have a valuable acquisition. He has a tenor voice of pleasing quality and shows a decided aptitude for acting. The little lady - Miss Winifred Rink - who danced the hornpipe in 'H.M.S. Pinafore' was really delightful. She danced with a lightness and grace that is as rare as it is satisfying. Then there was Master Clarrie Goude, who moved about as a midshipman as if to the manner born. I also liked Mr. A.B. Talbot's judge. If he has done anything better it was his King Gama in 'Patience'."

George Cook's comment on this press accolade was: "My hat!!! Gee Whiz!!!"


The Rightful Captain

Ralph: The Captain

Ralph; The Captain of the Pinafore


THE PROGRAMME

The programme cover

The programme

Our thanks go to David Lovell, a G&S performer and collector from Leicester who discovered a copy of the programme for this performance. We have reproduced this here: 'HMS Pinafore' / 'Trial By Jury' programme.

Go to the 'HMS PINAFORE review'


BACK TO "An Appreciation of Gilbert & Sullivan (in 14 parts)"


Page added - November 21st 2005
Last updated - April 16th 2012


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