W S Gilbert's work time-line

William Gilbert Snr: Biography

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WILLIAM SCHWENCK GILBERT 1836 - 1911

 

 

ST DAVID’S PLAYERS RESOURCE CENTRE

 

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Gilbert and Sullivan Society · Exeter · Devon

A brief biography

 

Gilbert, born in 1836, became a much

respected theatre critic, writer of short

stories and a series of comic poems known as the ‘Bab’ Ballads, which overshadow the works of Hood, Carroll and Lear. His first acknowledged stage work, a burlesque of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, appeared in London during 1866, although his first play, Uncle Baby (written under a pseudonym) appeared as early as 1863.

 

A series of burlesques, dramas, comedies and

comic operas followed, and it was seldom

during the 1870s and 1880s that there were

less than half a dozen Gilbert works playing

in various London theatres at any one time,

with many more in the provinces. The comedy,

Engaged, still holds the stage to this day and is

generally acknowledged to be the forerunner of Wilde’s Importance Of Being Ernest. In total

Gilbert has almost 70 stage works to his name.

Arthur Sullivan: Biography

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