The male chorus serenaded Mrs. Stanton with an energetic rendition of There Ain’t Nothing Like a Dame from the upcoming production of South Pacific. *Photo by Gary Foster Skelton
The male chorus serenaded Mrs. Stanton with an energetic rendition of There Ain’t Nothing Like a Dame from the upcoming production of South Pacific. *Photo by Gary Foster Skelton
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With nearly forty productions taking place under her watch, the former president of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Bermuda, Marjorie Stanton, could easily be called the Dame of the Bermuda musical.

Performers, directors, designers and technicians gathered in the City Hall foyer on Saturday to pay tribute to Mrs. Stanton, whose passion and relentlessness had drawn them into the ever-widening fold of G&S alumni.

At the helm

Marjorie Stanton began her association with the society in 1978 as wardrobe mistress for The Mikado. In 1984, she was voted in as president, and held this position until stepping down at the end of 2012. Of the shows that were performed during her tenure, 37 were musicals (four of which were commissioned by the Bermuda Festival).

In 2005, her services to the community were recognized when she received the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour.

As to her success, there were many comments about her relentlessness in calling people to get involved, and how, because of her lovely nature, she was “impossible to say no to”. Others praised her incredible organizational skills, juggling people and jobs in such a way that it would seem only Marjorie herself knew exactly what was going on!

Tribute in song

Current president John Barnett oversaw the evening and relayed messages from those who could not attend, and OBA Deputy Chair Michael Branco delivered words of appreciation from Premier Craig Cannonier. 

Bermuda’s Broadway baby Rebecca Faulkenberry wrote of how she still keeps the programme from her first G&S production, 1992’s Annie, on her dressing room table to remind her of where she started.

The evening also featured performances from many of Bermuda’s past and present theatre stars. Katrina Kawley-Lathan, Jenn Osmond, Peter Nash, John Ross, Paige Hallett, Gary Foster Skelton and Philip Barnett sang numbers from past productions, and a youth chorus belted out Consider Yourself from Oliver!.

Of particular note was the male chorus’ energetic rendition of There Ain’t Nothing Like a Dame from the upcoming production of South Pacific.

The occasion, with Governor George Fergusson and his wife in attendance, was an affectionate and enthusiastic tribute to a strong-willed, theatre-loving lady who has avoided the limelight herself, but has shone in the achievements of many of Bermuda’s theatrical artists.