EDGAS celebrate their centenary at the Festival Theatre!

The Edinburgh Gilbert & Sullivan Society (EDGAS) celebrates their centenary year at the Festival Theatre with an enchanting new production of The Gondoliers, which opens tonight (8 May).

Transporting audiences to the romantic canals of Venice, The Gondoliers promises a hilarious caper where love, laughter, and mistaken identities collide. Bursting with famous melodies, the captivating operetta revolves around two handsome gondoliers and a royal mix-up.


Founded on 18 December 1924, at the historic North British Station Hotel (now the Balmoral Hotel) EDGAS is dedicated to promoting and showcasing the timeless works of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. It also provides a platform for some of Scotland’s finest talent, nurturing singers, actors, and production crew.

While the King’s Theatre, the original home of Edinburgh’s largest community companies, undergoes its exciting redevelopment, the Festival Theatre is hosting EDGAS’s productions.  Their most recent hit Yeoman of the Guard graced the stage in February 2023.  EDGAS’s journey at the King’s Theatre began in 1973 with The Pirates of Penzance and they have performed annually ever since, becoming an integral part of Capital Theatre’s history. Boasting over 20,000 attendees in the last decade, EDGAS continues to captivate audiences and enrich Edinburgh’s cultural diversity.


EDGAS productions feature choruses of over 50 singers, challenging them with roles that develop their techniques. One tenor chorus member, Peter Cushley, recently progressed to a Principal in Yeoman of the Guard and has now been cast as Luiz in The Gondoliers. Former EDGAS performers have graced the stages of the West End, a testament to the society’s commitment to excellence and training.

The Gondoliers features EDGAS’ long-term duo, David Lyle and Alan Borthwick, who are working together once again as Musical Director and Artistic Director.

EDGAS’s dedicated stage managers and production team bring their expertise from Edinburgh venues such as The King’s Theatre, The Churchhill Theatre, Adam Smith Theatre Kirkcaldy, and major stages across the UK. The craftsmanship in set design, high production values and Bill Hume's fantastic contributions over the years, further enhance the overall quality of their shows.


Fiona Gibson, Chief Executive of Capital Theatres, said: 

“It is fantastic to celebrate EDGAS’s phenomenal milestone of 100 years, spreading the joy of Sir W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan’s timeless works!  

It has been a real pleasure to play a part in their journey over the years, hosting their dazzling performances in our theatres. As they light up the Festival Theatre stage with The Gondoliers for their centenary, amidst the redevelopment of our beloved King’s Theatre, we look forward to much laughter, music, and theatrical splendour.  We know this special production will continue to captivate our audiences, as EDGAS always has. Here’s to many more years of joy and unforgettable moments!”

Andrew Crawford, the President of the Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society said:  

For our 75th anniversary, we took the brave decision to fully stage Sullivan’s only Grand Opera, Ivanhoe, in the King’s Theatre. This is one of the only times Ivanhoe has been staged since its original successful professional run in London in 1891, and our own production was also met with great praise. We are so looking forward to our brand new production of The Gondoliers at the Festival Theatre for our centenary celebrations. 

We’ve delighted many thousands of people and given hundreds of people the opportunity to perform at the highest level, working with some of the best exponents and experts of the Savoy operas in the world. Many of our performers have successfully gone on to professional acting and singing careers or prominent roles in other theatrical groups around the world.

We have chosen to focus our centenary around the following themes: Quality; Commitment; Passion; Education & Outreach; and Looking to the Future. All of these are key to our unique ethos of delivering professional standard performances, featuring our diverse and enthusiastic membership, to a wide and engaged 21st-century audience; and we aim to ensure that these themes are also at the heart of our activities as we look to the future”.  

EDGAS: The Gondoliers

Wed 8 to Sat 11 May 2024