Iain Kerr

THE INTERNATIONAL ITINERARY – 1968 TO 1978

    ‘GILBERT & SULLIVAN GO KOSHER’

The celebrated double act of ‘Goldberg and Solomon’ was the brain-child of British writer/performers IAIN KERR and ROY COWEN who, after producing considerable material for radio, television, stage and cabaret, came up with the concept: What might have been the result had Gilbert and Sullivan been born Jewish!     Their first creation was  ‘THE TAILORS OF POZNANCE’ or ‘The Apprentice Lover should Never Press his Suit in the Firm’s Time’. The vogue at that time - in the early 60’s - was to write complete shows to fit on one 12” long playing recording.  Sharing top billing with Kerr and Cowen was Miriam Karlin together with a full cast, chorus and orchestra directed and conducted by Iain Kerr.

The LP recording was released internationally in 1967. Such was the immediate success in South Africa, a request came through to London from a professional production company in Johannesburg seeking the stage rights. This surprising development prompted Kerr and Cowen to take advice from their colleague Michael Sullivan, who was not only a noted West End theatrical agent with the Delfont-Grade Agency but also grandson of Rose Sullivan - Sir Arthur Sullivan’s first cousin!!   Michael told Iain and Roy, he would immediately inform the South African company that stage rights were not available as a two-man show was about to tour the Republic perform the material of ‘Goldberg and Solomon’.

To the astonished couple he said: “You have material for more recordings of ‘Goldberg & Solomon’ operettas? – why not do a Jewish ‘Flanders & Swann’?  Two men on a draped stage with just a grand piano is a management’s dream!”   

The world premiere of ‘GILBERT & SULLIVAN GO KOSHER’ took place on April 28, 1968 in the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre and after playing several other UK cities, the show headed for South Africa – booked for 8 weeks.  The reception was such that the tour ran for 8 months.  This was the start of a record-breaking successful 10 year international tour. 

PROGRAMME CONTENT

Their show opened with ‘How We Met’ from ‘TRIAL BY JEWRY’ then five songs from ‘THE TAILORS OF POZNANCE’:  ‘I am Morry King’, ‘The Oliver Shalom Psalm’, ‘She’s Orthodox’, ‘A Shatchan’s Lot’ and ‘A Double Mazeltov’.  The first half closed with excerpts from ‘THE THREE LITTLE MAIDS FROM SHULE’: ‘Chazersher’s Song’ (The Widow, the Widow, the Widow), ‘Mao’s Little List’ and ‘Little Maids from Shule’.  The second half opened with ‘MRS PINAFORE’ (The story of Sarah Shmuttercup and her Wholesale Business with the Sailors in Portsmouth): ‘I’m Called Sarah Schmuttercup’ and ‘Never Mind My Why and Wherefore’ followed by a segment from ‘THE CHANDALIERS’ (The story of the Marco Applebaum and Giuseppi Googenheim, two gay interior decorators who travel from Venice to touch up a Duke’s palace in Majorca) featuring: ‘Take a Pair of Pizza Pies’, ‘The Duke Platz Oratorio’ and ‘The Decorator’s Gavotte’. The show ended with the Goldbertian Anthem: ‘A Pair of Grand Old Jewish Men’. 

THE REASON FOR SUCCESS 

Following the G & S tradition, Kerr and Cowen wisely entitled their first recording “The Best Of Goldberg & Solomon No 2” because the first Gilbert & Sullivan collaboration - ‘THESPIS or THE GODS GROWN OLD’ – failed and was lost!

Because of their respect for the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, Kerr and Cowen did not mutilate the originals in any way.  ‘Goldberg & Solomon’ plots were parallels to the originals – themes were mirrored – titles were clearly obvious reflections and the music used was performed unaltered apart from edits removing the four part chorus singing – obviously not possible in a two-man show!  This respectful, caring treatment of the Savoy Operas was greatly appreciated by D’Oyly Carte devotees while the fresh approach, with satirical topical humour up-dated for today, was exactly what Gilbert did in Victorian times.  Appreciation was across the board.   

One did not have to be Jewish to enjoy it anymore than one had to be Chinese to enjoy Sweet and Sour  -  or Japanese to appreciate ‘The Mikado’!

THE INTERNATIONAL TOUR 

1968

BOURNEMOUTH Pavilion Theatre – World Premiere – April 28

July 10: Star Sound Studios, London - Recording extracts from G & S Go Kosher!

Aug:    SOUTHPORT

Aug:    MANCHESTER/SALFORD 

Sep:    GLASGOW

Sep:    SOUTHPORT (Return)

Oct:     EALING 

First SOUTHERN AFRICAN TOUR – Nov 1968 - Aug 69

Booked for Eight Weeks – extended to Eight Months

BLOEMFONTEIN

JOHANNESBURG

DURBAN

CAPE TOWN

BULAWAYO - RHODESIA

SALISBURY – RHODESIA

PORT ELIZABETH

EAST LONDON

GRAHAMSTOWN

CAPE TOWN  (Return)  

U.K.

Sep:    EDINBURGH FESTIVAL 

ITALY

Sep:    RICCIONE 

U.K.

Dec:    LIVERPOOL 

1970

Mar:    LEEDS

Mar:    CARDIFF    

Mar:    NEWCASTLE   

Mar:    CROYDON    

Apr:     CHESTER

Apr:  MANCHESTER/SALFORD  (D’Oyly Carte Matinee)

Apr:     BRISTOL

May:    LONDON – Royalty Theatre

May:    WESTCLIFF

Jun:     EAST GRINSTEAD

Jun:     HENDON

Jul:      BRIGHTON

Sep:    HENDON (Return)

Sep:    WREXHAM

Sep:    LIVERPOOL

Oct:     WARRINGTON

Oct:     OSWESTRY

Oct:     BRISTOL (Return)

Oct:     BRIGHTON (Return)

           CANTERBURY 

RETURN SEASON - SOUTH AFRICA

EAST LONDON

PORT ELIZABETH 

1971

RETURN SEASON - RHODESIA (Arts Council Tour)

SALISBURY

GATOOMA

QUE QUE

BULAWAYO

SHABANI MINES

UMTALI

SALISBURY (Return)

GWELO

FORT VICTORIA

TRIANGLE

SINOIA

KAROI

MANGULA

SHAMVA

BINDURA

UMVUKWES

CENTENARY

QUE QUE (Return)

FORT VICTORIA (Return)

RUSAPE 

1971

NEW ZEALAND

AUCKLAND

HAMILTON

CHRISTCHURCH 

DUNEDIN

CHRISTCHURCH (Return)

WELLINGTON 

AUSTRALIA – FIRST TOUR

MELBOURNE

ADELAIDE

CANBERRA

BRISBANE

SYDNEY 

1972

MELBOURNE (Return)

ADELAIDE (Return)

SYDNEY (Return – running Six Months)

SURFERS PARADISE

PERTH 

1973

U.K.

WARRINGTON

BRISTOL (Return)

MALVERN

EAST GRINSTEAD

CANTERBURY

BRADFORD

BIRMINGHAM

LONDON COLISEUM – London’s largest theatreGala Performance

WESTON SUPER MARE

LEEDS (Return)

CHESTER (Return)

CANTERBURY (Return)

SHEFFIELD 

1974

AUSTRALIA – RETURN TOUR

PERTH (Return)

MELBOURNE (2nd Return)

CANBERRA (Return)

LAUNCESTON

HOBART

SYDNEY (2nd Return)

PERTH (2nd Return) 

Tour for the Western Australian Arts Council

COLLIE 

BRIDGETOWN

KOJONUP

MOUNT BARKER

ALBANY

RAVENSTHORPE

ESPERANCE

NORSEMAN

BOULDER

SOUTHERN CROSS

MERREDIN

KELLERBERRIN

CORRIGIN

BOYUP BROOK

BROOKTON

HARVEY

PINJARRA

YORK

NARRIGIN

WAGIN

KATANNING

MANJIMUP

BUNBURY

GERALDTON

CARNARVON

EXMOUTH

DAMPIER

TOM PRICE

PARABURDOO

WICKHAM

PORT HEDLAND

MARBLE BAR

GOLDSWORTHY

BROOME

DERBY

KUNUNARRA 

ADELAIDE (2nd Return)

BRISBANE (Return) 

Tour for the New South Wales Arts Council

GOULBURN

NOWRA

MILTON

MITTONG

WOOLLONGONG

KEMPSEY

PORT MACQUARIE

COFFS HARBOUR

LISMORE

INVERELL

GLEN INNES

ARMIDALE

GRIFFITHS

LEETON

WEST WYALONG

ALBURY

DENILIQUIN

WAGGA

MILDURA

DUBBO

MUDGEE

WELLINGTON

COWRA

ORANGE

BATHURST

PARKES

LITHGOW 

1975

NORFOLK ISLAND 

TOUR FOR THE ARTS COUNCIL OF TASMANIA

BURNIE

CAMPBELL TOWN

ST MARYS

SCOTTSDALE

SWANSEA

DEVONPORT

FLINDERS ISLAND

DELORAINE

ULVERSTONE

GEORGETOWN

KING ISLAND

SMITHTON

PENGUIN

WYNYARD

SAVAGE RIVER

ROSEBERY

OATLANDS

BOTHWELL

EASTERN SHORE

KINGSTON

OUSE 

CONTINUED TOUR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES ARTS COUNCIL

MILTON   (Return)  S.J.M.G.

PARKES  (Return)  S.J.M.G.

MUDGEE (Return)  S.J.M.G. 

NORTHERN QUEENSLAND TOUR

INNISFAIL

CAIRNS

TOWNSVILLE 

COMPLETION of TOUR for NEW SOUTH WALES ARTS COUNCIL

TWEED

ARMIDALE   S.J.M.G. 

1975/76 RETURN SOUTH AFRICAN SEASON

JOHANNESBURG S.J.M.G. TV GUESTING 

TO U.K. 

TO AUSTRALIA

BY SEA ABOARD AUSTRALIS – VIA SUEZ

TOWNSVILLE   G & S  4TO TALK BACK – PROMO SHOWS

TOWNSVILLE  S.J.M.G. 4TO TALK BACK – PROMO SHOWS 

TO U.K.

LONDON – IAIN KERR – Associate Artist with ANNA RUSSELL 

1977

TO AUSTRALIA

Via TORONTO/VANCOUVER/HONOLULU/NANDI

SYDNEY   S.J.M.G.

CANBERRA   S.J.M.G.

SYDNEY   S.J.M.G. 

1978

SYDNEY  S.J.M.G.

TOWNSVILLE  S.J.M.G 2 GALAS AT NEW CIVIC THEATRE

SYDNEY  S.J.M.G.

Altogether more than 1,000,000 delighted theatre-goers paid admission to see
‘GILBERT & SULLIVAN GO KOSHER’