I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major General


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The story of the rise and fall of a collaboration between three men who dominated Victorian musical theatre and have left a lasting legacy. Everyone has heard of the immortal Gilbert and Sullivan, but who knows about the man who brought them success, George Grossmith, the original Modern Major General?

Simon Butteriss and Robin Brooks' delightful comedy drama about the entertainer George Grossmith, who was plucked from his humble touring circuit to become the star of the Gilbert and Sullivan Savoy Operas, staying for twelve years. Grossmith was central to why Gilbert and Sullivan operas became so successful and continue to be so today.

Simon Butteriss, who plays Grossmith, is best known as a performer in the Gilbert and Sullivan patter roles, which he continues to sing all over the world to a huge fan base. Robin Brooks' work for Radio 4 includes Ulysses, I Claudius, The Great Scott and Iris Murdoch: Dream Girl. His recent dramatisation of Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea starring Jeremy Irons has been shortlisted for a BBC Audio Drama Award, 2016.

Episode Five: Piano and I

It's 1889 and, after twelve years at the Savoy Opera, Grossmith decides to go solo. Gilbert and Sullivan lose their golden goose. While he flies, they struggle to replace him. Will there be a re-union? And if so, will they all be able to bear it?

Pianist: Gretel Dowdeswell

Sound Designer: Alisdair McGregor

Written by Simon Butteriss and Robin Brooks

Directed by Simon Butteriss and Fiona McAlpine

Produced by Fiona McAlpine

An Allegra production for BBC Radio 4.

It is 1889, and after 12 years at the Savoy Opera, Grossmith decides to go solo.