Opera Scotland

Ruddigore 1887Mr R D'Oyly Carte's Opera Company

Read more about the opera Ruddigore

Ruddigore, or The Witch's Curse, following Gilbert and Sullivan's greatest success, The Mikado, almost inevitably had a troubled history. After its initial London run and national tour, it disappeared from the repertoire for over thirty years, and even then was revived only in a form which the authors would not have recognised.

The first London performance at the Savoy Theatre came on 22 January 1887. Then the efficient D' Oyly Carte organisation immediately set to work to put the show on the road, and the touring company arrived in Edinburgh on 8 August. The highly successful Scottish leg of this tour lasted for seven weeks, Aberdeen only having one, but the three larger cities enjoying two weeks each.

The company did not generally give matinees on a Saturday, but they did provide a special charity matinee performance in Dundee, to raise funds for dependants of the recent catastrophic theatre fire in Exeter in which 186 had died. That building had only recently opened, reconstructed after a fire two years earlier. During the evenings since the fire, the Dundee manager William McFarland had carefully restored audience confidence, one method being to stage an evacuation of the packed theatre at every performance - usually achieving this in less than four minutes.

One member of this touring company was a complete novice, but would go on to a career embracing half a century and ending with a knighthood. Henry Lytton did not have the most beautiful singing voice in the world, but was a great success in the specialist comedian roles created by George Grossmith. He must have performed most of them hundreds of times. On this tour, barely twenty years old, he must have been unusually convincing in the role of a young farmer.

Performance Cast

Dame Hannah Rose's Aunt

Pauline Gear

Rose Maybud a Village Maiden

Margaret Cockburn

Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd disguised as Robin Oakapple, a Young Farmer

Henry Lytton

Old Adam Goodheart Robin's Faithful Servant

Mr R H Edgar

Richard Dauntless Robin's Foster-brother, a Sailor

Mr H Cadwalladr

Mad Margaret

Kate Forster

Sir Despard Murgatroyd of Ruddigore, a Wicked Baronet

George Temple

Sir Roderic Murgatroyd the Twenty-First Baronet

Hervet d' Egville

Production Cast


Mr W Robinson

Performance DatesRuddigore 1887

Map List

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

8 Aug, 00.00

Royalty, Glasgow | Glasgow

22 Aug, 00.00

Her Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

5 Sep, 19.30 6 Sep, 19.30 7 Sep, 19.30 8 Sep, 19.30 9 Sep, 19.30 10 Sep, 19.00

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

12 Sep, 19.30 13 Sep, 19.30 14 Sep, 19.30 15 Sep, 19.30 16 Sep, 19.30 17 Sep, 19.00 19 Sep, 19.30 20 Sep, 19.30 21 Sep, 19.30 22 Sep, 19.30 23 Sep, 19.30 24 Sep, 14.30 24 Sep, 19.00

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