Written by Richard Tong
The scheme is rash and well may fail,
But ours are not the hearts that quail
The scheme Gilbert sought to describe in the couplet above was one of subterfuge and perversion of justice. While, for legal reasons, the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert & Sullivan Players can’t honestly make claim to having committed a treasonous felony of equal magnitude to that committed by the characters in The Yeomen of the Guard*, we find the sentiment Gilbert expressed perfectly fitting in describing our attitude as we embark upon our rehearsal process.
This past week has seen our fledgling cast and orchestra take their first few steps in learning the extraordinary libretto and score that is The Yeomen of the Guard. The birds are all caged, the wild beasts all littered down, and the “rack, pincers, and thumbscrews all ready for work.” The other critical instruments—not of torture but of music and theatre (and, shockingly, of musical theatre)—are also being readied.
Over the last seven days, I have personally watched an orchestra rehearse, asked a jester to teach me the art of jesting, and sung indignantly about a girl who loves another man. If this is indicative of events to come, then I can say without hesitation that Yeomen will be quite the event.
Tickets go on sale at the Harvard Box Office on February 23, but in the interim you can find out more about our production on the Happening Now page of our website, and also become a patron to support our production.
Yeomen of the Guard opens in the historic Agassiz Theatre on March 23. Until then, and as we continue to rehearse, we can only look to Gilbert’s words for inspiration:
We may succeed—who can foretell?
May heaven help our hope—farewell!
*or, for that matter, one of greater or lesser magnitude.