The Grand Duke
Our production of The Grand Duke took place from the 30th March to 2nd April 2005.
Ludwig, on the verge of marrying his sweetheart Lisa, is the chief comedian of Ernest Dummkopf's theatrical troupe, which is conspiring to dethrone the unpopular Grand Duke Rudolph. The Grand Duchy's laws include the concept of a statutory duel, in which the duellists draw cards from a pack; the loser is legally dead, and the winner takes his place, adopting all his functions and responsibilities. Ludwig challenges first Ernest, then Rudolph to such a duel, drawing an ace to the other's king on each occasion. Having thus become the Grand Duke, Ludwig renews the Statutory Duel Act that was about to expire, ensuring that the losers remain legally dead. However, he promptly finds that he has been promised by default to the leading lady of the troupe, Julia Jellicoe, who was, because of her professional position, to have married Ernest. Next, the Baroness von Krakenfeldt, who was about to marry Rudolph, claims Ludwig. Finally, the Prince of Monte Carlo arrives with his daughter, who was engaged to Rudolph at an early age, to claim the Grand Duke's hand in marriage for her. At this point, with Ludwig nonplussed at his fourth fiancée in 24 hours, the opera achieves its Gilbertian denouement by the discovery that the Statutory Duel Act specified that an ace shall count as lowest, not highest. Consequently, Ernest and Rudolph never really died, Ludwig's renewal of the Act was invalid, and since the Act just expired, Ludwig is not legally dead either and can marry Lisa after all.
|Rudolph||Grand Duke of Pfennig Halbfennig||Nick Grundy|
|Ernest Dummkopf||a Theatrical Manager||James Craw|
|Ludwig||his Leading Comedian||Andrew Armstrong|
|Dr Tannhauser||a Notary||Nick Brown|
|The Prince of Monte Carlo||Geoff Allan|
|Viscount Mentone||Trevor John|
|Duke of Riviera||Matthew Baker|
|Ben Hashbaz||a Costumier||Nick Presdee|
|The Princess of Monte Carlo||Lucy D'Cruz|
|The Baroness Von Krakenfeldt||Linda Mumford|
|Julia Jellicoe||the Leading Lady||Olwen Kieser|
|Lisa||a Soubrette||Allison Edwards|
|Chorus of Actors, Chamberlains, Nobles etc||Charlotte Allan Matthew Baker Benjamin Craw Neil Edwards Sue Latimer Candice Marcus Alys Mumford Ruth Shipley Angela Warden Anthony White Kym White|
Here is the music for The Grand Duke as Noteworthy and Midi files zipped.