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.
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
BOURNEMOUTH Pavilion Theatre – World Premiere – April 28
July 10: Star Sound Studios, London - Recording extracts from G & S Go Kosher!
Sep: SOUTHPORT (Return)
First SOUTHERN AFRICAN TOUR – Nov 1968 - Aug 69
Booked for Eight Weeks – extended to Eight Months
BULAWAYO - RHODESIA
SALISBURY – RHODESIA
CAPE TOWN (Return)
Sep: EDINBURGH FESTIVAL
Apr: MANCHESTER/SALFORD (D’Oyly Carte Matinee)
May: LONDON – Royalty Theatre
Jun: EAST GRINSTEAD
Sep: HENDON (Return)
Oct: BRISTOL (Return)
Oct: BRIGHTON (Return)
RETURN SEASON - SOUTH AFRICA
RETURN SEASON - RHODESIA (Arts Council Tour)
QUE QUE (Return)
FORT VICTORIA (Return)
AUSTRALIA – FIRST TOUR
SYDNEY (Return – running Six Months)
LONDON COLISEUM – London’s largest theatre – Gala Performance
WESTON SUPER MARE
AUSTRALIA – RETURN TOUR
MELBOURNE (2nd Return)
SYDNEY (2nd Return)
PERTH (2nd Return)
Tour for the Western Australian Arts Council
ADELAIDE (2nd Return)
Tour for the New South Wales Arts Council
TOUR FOR THE ARTS COUNCIL OF TASMANIA
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
COMPLETION of TOUR for NEW SOUTH WALES ARTS COUNCIL
1975/76 RETURN SOUTH AFRICAN SEASON
JOHANNESBURG S.J.M.G. TV GUESTING
BY SEA ABOARD AUSTRALIS – VIA SUEZ
TOWNSVILLE G & S 4TO TALK BACK – PROMO SHOWS
TOWNSVILLE S.J.M.G. 4TO TALK BACK – PROMO SHOWS
LONDON – IAIN KERR – Associate Artist with ANNA RUSSELL
TOWNSVILLE S.J.M.G 2 GALAS AT NEW CIVIC THEATRE