Port Elizabeth Gilbert and Sullivan Society

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The Port Elizabeth Gilbert and Sullivan Society is an amateur theatre society based in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Also written Port Elizabeth Gilbert & Sullivan Society and called The "PE Gilbert and Sullivan Society".

On Thursday, August 11, 2022, the company announced it was changing its name to the Impact Community Theatre Collective (ICTC).

On 2nd May 2024, Impact Community Theatre Company was launched, replacing the original name of the society.

Founding and early history

Established in 1932 and has operated continuously since then.

For information on the rebranded society (from May 2024), see Impact Community Theatre Company

Vision and Mission

The Society's vision statement is: "To be the premier theatre society in South Africa".

The Society's mission statement is: "Putting our Hearts into the Arts with outstanding productions which nurture talent and provide audiences with a magical experience".

The membership of the Society crosses all age, race and gender demographics.


The Society's Constitution states that:

The main objects of the Society shall be: a) The study and performance of musical theatre; b) The fostering generally of interest in music and the theatre and the performance of any works in connection therewith; c) The presentation of experimental theatre and the Classics.

The ancillary objects of the Society shall be: a) To manage, maintain and develop the Savoy Theatre and Conference Centre; b) To raise funds by way of subscription, donation and otherwise or acquire any assets or resources that may be necessary for carrying out the Objects of the Society; c) To purchase or otherwise acquire plant, machinery, furniture, fittings, scenery and other necessary effects that may be necessary for carrying out the Objects of the Society.

Construction of the Savoy Theatre

In 1966 the Port Elizabeth Gilbert and Sullivan Society decided to build a rehearsal hall, later named the Savoy Theatre. To end the problem of rehearsal space and a place to construct elaborate sets, it was decided to duplicate the stage and backstage areas of the Port Elizabeth Opera House attached to the Society's own hall. The hall was unique in South Africa in that it was the only rehearsal hall designed specifically to duplicate the stage of another theatre. The Port Elizabeth City Council sold the organization a plot of land at the corner of Diaz Road & Stirk St, Parsons Hill. In order to coax donations from the public a category of Building Patrons was created. For R25-00 these patrons would be entitled to receive two complimentary tickets for every show produced by the Society for 15 years. At the existing rate for tickets, this meant their investment would be returned in four years with another 11 years of free theatre.

For more information, see Savoy Theatre.

Impact on SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

The Society owns and operates the Savoy Theatre and Conference Centre in Adcockvale, Port Elizabeth.

Since formation (1932), the society has presented high quality musical and dramatic productions for the Port Elizabeth community. Thousands of young performers, technicians, musicians and creative practitioners from all backgrounds have received training and reinforcement during productions. Many have gone on to study and work in professional theatre in South Africa and internationally, including Naledi Award winners Angela Kilian and Gareth Williams, professional performers Richard Vorster, Chireen Ferreira, Mandisa Tiso, Jerry Fortuin, Bennie Gerber, Jody Butler and many more.

The Society was previously aligned with CAPAB, but currently (2014) funds all its performances from its own funds and have not received funding from any other source.

The Society presents productions that cover a wide cross section of musical theatre genres including South African works. During the period 2011 to 2014 it has produced shows as diverse as the classic musical Oklahoma!, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, the "juke box" style musical Disco Inferno, Fiela’s Child - The Musical and Sounds of South End. The Society also seeks to showcase local talent in revue style productions such as Page to Stage (2014) which feature many cast members performing solo numbers.

In 2015 the G&S President, Rose Cowpar, and Yolande Farrow, newly-elected Chairperson of the Port Elizabeth Musical and Dramatic Society (PEMADS) initiated a closer relationship between the two societies, including joint projects.

Other projects have also included cabarets, concerts, workshops for all ages, the Savoy Drama Club for under 18s, a Carols evening has that raised funds for Maranatha CHildren's Home for over 14 years, and the Holiday Theatre Project.


This is a chronological list of productions staged by the Port Elizabeth Gilbert and Sullivan Society since its establishment in 1932. More details of director, cast etc. under seperate entry per individual musical or play.

1932: Iolanthe

1932: The Pirates of Penzance

1933: Patience

1934: The Pirates of Penzance

1934: The Yeomen of the Guard

1935: H.M.S. Pinafore

1935: Patience

1936: The Mikado

1937: Iolanthe

1937: The Gondoliers

1938: Princess Ida

1939: Iolanthe

1940: The Yeomen of the Guard

1941: The Pirates of Penzance

1942: Ruddigore

1943: Princess Ida

1944: The Gondoliers

1945: Iolanthe

1946: The Mikado

1947: Merrie England

1948: Patience

1949: Ruddigore

1950: Tom Jones

1951: H.M.S. Pinafore

1952: The Geisha

1952: The Pirates of Penzance

1953: The Yeomen of the Guard

1954: The Gondoliers

1954: Trial by Jury

1955: The Mikado

1955: Trial by Jury

1956: Iolanthe

1956: The Vagabond King

1957: The New Moon

1958: Princess Ida

1959: The Merry Widow

1960: Golden Country

1961: Ruddigore

1962: The Gypsy Baron

1963: The Pirates of Penzance

1963: The White Horse Inn

1964: The Gondoliers

1965: Naughty Marietta

1966: The Mikado

1967: Oklahoma!

1967: The King and I

1968: Ali Baba

1968: Brigadoon (directed by Helen Mann)

1969: Romeo and Juliet

1969: The Student Prince

1970: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

1970: The Desert Song

1970: Twelfth Night

1971: Cox and Box

1971: Trial by Jury

1971: Show Boat

1972: Annie Get Your Gun

1973: South Pacific

1974: The Gondoliers

1975: Camelot

1975: Encore

1976: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

1976: Memories

1976: Mr Bolfry

1977: The Mikado

1977: Trial by Jury

1977: Tributes

1978: Free as Air

1978: The Merry Widow

1979: H.M.S. Pinafore

1979: The Student Prince

1980: Fiddler on the Roof

1980: Oklahoma!

1981: Die Fledermaus

1981: The Boy Friend

1982: Jubilee Revue

1982: My Fair Lady

1982: Will o’ the Whispers

1983: The Pajama Game

1983: Where’s Charley?

1984: Anything Goes (revue)

1984: The Sound of Music

1985: No productions (Port Elizabeth Opera House renovations)

1986: Annie

1987: The Pirates of Penzance

1988: Hello, Dolly!

1989: South Pacific

1990: Mame

1991: Kismet

1992: Fiddler on the Roof

1993: Grease

1994: Camelot

1995: Annie Get Your Gun

1996: The Sound of Music

1997: Annie

1998: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

1999: The King and I

2000: Evita

2001: Partners in Time (revue) (directed by Darryl Nel)

2002: Chicago (directed by Robin Williams)

2003: Sweet Charity (directed by Robin Williams)

2004: The Sound of Music (directed by Robin Williams)

2005: Fiddler on the Roof

2006: Cabaret (directed by Robin Williams)

2007: Footloose (directed by Robin Williams)

2007: A Celebration – 75th Anniversary Revue (directed by Lesley Speyers)

2008: Guys and Dolls (directed by Robin Williams)

2009: Valentine’s Cabaret – A Celebration of Love & Laughter (directed by Lesley Speyers)

2009: My Fair Lady (directed by Paul Griffiths)

2009: A Night on Broadway (directed by Garth Tavares)

2010: Valentine's Cabaret – Loves Me, Loves Me Not, Loves Me (directed by Rose Cowpar)

2010: High School Musical on Stage! (directed by – Robin Williams)

2010: Back to Broadway (directed by Garth Tavares)

2011: Valentine's Cabaret – Crazy in Love (directed by Rose Cowpar)

2011: Oklahoma! (directed by Robin Williams)

2011: Legends of Broadway (directed by Rose Cowpar)

2011: Fiela’s Child - The Musical (directed by Robin Williams)

2011: Carols

2012: Valentine’s Cabaret – All You Need is Love (directed by Rose Cowpar)

2012: Evita (directed by Robin Williams)

2012: Fiela’s Child - The Musical (directed by Robin Williams)

2012: Back to the 80's (directed by Marlene Pieterse)

2012: Carols

2013: Valentine's Cabaret – Head Over Heels (directed by Rose Cowpar)

2013: Sounds of South End (directed by Herbie Clayton)

2013: The Pirates of Penzance (directed by Rose Cowpar)

2013: Carols

2014: Valentine’s Cabaret – Be My Valentine (directed by Rose Cowpar)

2014: Page to Stage (revue) (directed by Rose Cowpar)

2014: Disco Inferno (directed by Rose Cowpar)

2022: Matilda The Musical (directed by Robin Williams).

2023: Mind My Broadway, Blast from the Past, Hairspray (directed by Rose Cowpar)

2024: Music! Movies! Magic! (co-directed by Leandi Fontini and Rose Cowpar), Love Shack (directed by Rose Cowpar)

For productions from May 2024, see Impact Community Theatre Company


In 2022, the Society was awarded the inaugural Isakhona Musical Theatre Fellowship by the Mandela Bay Theatre Complex for the Society's development of young talent.


Correspondence with Rose Cowpar, member of the Society's Executive Committee, October 2014.

Bob Eveleigh, 2015, "Closer ties for PE theatre societies" Artslink, 08/20/2015 08:49:41

Weekend Post, August 13, 2022.

The Herald, 11 April 2002

Weekend Post, 17 May 2003

Impact Community Theatre Company Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/impactcommunitytheatre/

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