Geoffrey Mogridge presents a round-up of what is on offer to theatre and opera enthusiasts at the Royal Hall, Harrogate.

The 28th International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival opens at Harrogate’s Royal Hall on August 10. On offer are twenty fully-staged productions supplemented by a fringe programme of illustrated lectures and concerts in the Festival’s own Utopia Theatre, adjoining the Royal Hall. Visitors can enjoy a show and soak up the atmosphere of the friendly Festival Club. They can browse and purchase at the memorabilia stores or eat, drink and socialise from early morning to late evening - all under the same roof.

The National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company presents new productions of the Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe and Utopia Ltd. Opera della Luna returns to the Festival with HMS Pinafore; Brussels Light Opera Company bring their version of Pirates of Penzance and Bus Pass Opera performs Princess Ida. SavoyNet Performing Group will produce The Grand Duke while Iolanthe is this year’s Festival Youth Production. The Gondoliers will be presented by Oxford University G&S Society and Forbear! Theatre.

The National G&S Opera Company’s lavish new production of Utopia Ltd is directed by Jeff Clarke who promises a fresh interpretation in a Southsea setting. The National G&S Company production of Pirates of Penzance will be directed by Sarah Helsby Hughes and stars James Cleverton as the dashing Pirate King. John Savournin’s new production of Iolanthe stars Matthew Kellett as the Lord Chancellor, with a cast of favourite Festival performers. John also directs the innovative Charles Court Opera Company’s productions of the Mikado, Patience, and Express G&S. The latter is a brand new side-splitting spoof of the classic railway murder mystery.

Call 01422 323252 or visit for full programme and bookings.