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The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive   Cups and Saucers
Written and composed by GEORGE GROSSMITH
(taken from La Ceramique)


I. INTRODUCTION
II. REVIEW from The Times, August 15th 1878.
III. LIBRETTO [PDF, 104KB]
IV. VOCAL SCORE submitted by Arthur Robinson [PDF, 2.8Mb]
V. WEB OPERA — MIDI files of all the music, and dialogue.

Introduction

First produced in 1876 on tour as a vehicle for Grossmith and Florence Marryat. Performed from 5th or 12th (sources differ) August 1878 to 20th February 1880 at the Opera Comique as a curtain raiser to H.M.S. Pinafore.

Vocal Score (which includes full dialogue) published by Metzler, copy in British Library at F.155/13.

Cast

MRS. NANKEEN WORCESTER Emily Cross1
GENERAL DEELAH Richard Temple
JANE, the maid Rose Hervey 2

Later, in a programme reproduced in Adair-Fitzgerald, of no date but evidently after August 1879 3, the cast was:

MRS. NANKEEN WORCESTER Emily Cross1
GENERAL DEELAH Frank Thornton
JANE, the maid Rose Hervey 2

A programme in the Theatre Museum dated 20th January 1880 4 has Madge Stavart in place of Emily Cross.

Revived at the Globe Theatre 6th to 12th December 1890 for 6 performances, as curtain raiser to Richard Temple's production of Gounod's The Mock Doctor, with the cast:

MRS. NANKEEN WORCESTER Marie Deloitte
GENERAL DEELAH Joseph Wilson

Performed on tour 1883 with Mary Duggan, (Mr.) Evelyn Vernon and Mabel Vincent, and on tour March to December 1884, with Emma Gwynne, Evelyn Vernon and Mabel Vincent.

Synopsis

There is an understanding between Mrs. Worcester and General Deelah, each of whom has a collection of old china. However, it turns out that neither collection is quite what it is "cracked" up to be, and after an initial disappointment the two decide that they really do like each other better than their old china. They agree to live together and (presumably) get married.

[1] Emily Cross created Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance owing to the illness of Harriet Everard. She is recorded as having played Little Buttercup during the month of May 1879. Rutland Barrington claims to have brought her to the notice of the D'Oyly Carte management at the time of Pirates, but the above facts make this seem unlikely; he may, however, have reminded the management that she would be a useful replacement for Miss Everard.

[2] Jane, the character, neither sings nor speaks, and in the extant copy of the text does not even appear, being merely called to offstage. However, the early casting suggests that in the prepublication working text she probably did appear, and may even have had lines.

[3] In the cast of H.M.S. Pinafore which programme is also reproduced by Adair-Fitzgerald, C. Ramsay is shown as Bob Beckett; he took over this role in August 1879, fide Rollins & Witts in their Second Supplement (p. 19). Temple was absent for some time during the run, including three weeks in October to November 1879 when he played in The Lancashire Witches.

[4] Hand-dated with this date, but Low believes that some of the hand-dates on programmes in the Theatre Museum may not be accurate.


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