Opera Scotland

Merrie England 1960Sadler's Wells Opera

Read more about the opera Merrie England

Merrie England was first performed in London at the Savoy Theatre on 2 April 1902, during the generally fruitless search for successors to Gilbert and Sullivan. It was considered to be one of the most successful of those works, and contains several features that seem quite derivative. It had remained popular with amateur performers, but had not been revived professionally since before the war. This staging had a text revised by the director to include the supposed attempt by Lopez to poison Elizabeth.

It was successful with the public, less so with the critics (though the Glasgow Herald seems to have enjoyed it). Any further experimentation with it became unnecessary within a couple of years, since the copyright expired on Gilbert's writings in 1962, allowing the Sadler's Wells company access to The Mikado and other masterpieces of its type.

The Glasgow cast is from a programme in the Opera Scotland collection. That for the Dundee performances is recorded in a programme in the ENO archive.

Performance Cast

May Queen

Suzanne Steele

Butcher a Merchant of Windsor

Stanley Bevan

Baker a Merchant of Windsor

Basil Hemming

Tinker a Merchant of Windsor

Peter Tracey

Tailor a Merchant of Windsor

John Fryatt

Long Tom a Royal Forester

Eric Stannard

Big Ben a Royal Forester

Lawrence Folley

Jill-all-alone a forest-dweller, believed to be a witch

Ann Robson (Exc Oct 22 m)

Patricia Kern (Oct 22 m)

Guard Captain

Peter Firman

Earl of Essex

John Hargreaves

Francis Bacon

Graham Curnow

Sir Walter Raleigh

John Carolan

Walter Wilkins a London actor

John Holmes (Exc Oct 29)

Denis Dowling (Oct 29)

Silas Simkins a London actor

Alfred Oldridge

Third Actor

Carl Abrahamson

Fourth Actor

Bryan Clifford

Fifth Actor

Paul Janssen

Sixth Actor

Arthur Thelwell

Bessie Throckmorton lady-in-waiting to the Queen

Anne Edwards (Exc Oct 29)

Joan Stuart (Oct 29)

Dr Roderigo Lopez the Queen's Physician

Arthur Gomez

Queen Elizabeth

Anna Pollak

Performance DatesMerrie England 1960

Map List

Empire Theatre, Glasgow | Glasgow

19 Oct, 19.30 22 Oct, 14.30

Gaumont Theatre | Dundee

24 Oct, 19.30 29 Oct, 19.30

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