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Audience Feedback

Hi. I have enjoyed myself immensely once again at two of your shows this year. I went to Tonbridge Castle and saw Twelth Night and Pirates of Penzance. Both extremely entertaining. You all do an absolutely marvellous job and Summer wouldn't be the same without you! My only problem is that I have to wait another year before I can lose myself in another wonderful production. Suggestion for next year. Robin Hood, I missed it when it came round… would really love to see it!. Pirates was amazing and another musical would go down very well ...keep up the good work and look forward to seeing you all again next year. SN



Just wanted to say how much our family enjoyed the production. First time at a G&S for our boys and they loved it. Wonderful voices, great humour and the water splashes were a super touch! Thank you. H Family.



Completely brilliant production at Berkhamsted Castle - absolutely fantastic.  We all loved it.  Please come back and bring us more. Thank you! J



Pirates of Penzance - Berkhamsted

Most enjoyable and brilliantly inventive. My two kids loved it also. Will keep a watch out for your next performances nearby. JB



Pirates of Penzance

I went with a friend to see this at Penzance, Penlee Gallery - it was superb and my friend said the best Pirates of Penzance she has seen.  She wanted me to also mention that next time we will bring cake as she understands you all like it!  So do we!! Thanks for a superb evening. DC



We have just been to Berkhamsted Castle to see The Pirates of Penzance & wanted to tell you how very much we enjoyed it. The singing was excellent as was every other aspect of your production. We look forward to seeing your next performance! Well done! Kind Regards, R & R



Just to say that my friends and I thoroughly enjoyed the performance at Raby Castle in July - can we have more performances at N.E. venues please!  All the performers were amazingly talented and energetic, but must give special mention to James Dangerfield - please book him again!!  Also had I known the cast were so cake-obsessed I would have brought more! If you have a e-mail mailing list can I be added please? C L PRESIDENT, James Dangerfield Fan Club.



Many thanks for Pirates of Penzance in Tatton Park on Saturday night.  It was great fun and put a smile on everyone's face.   Enjoyed Anna Brook-Mitchell's comic singing, and the fun performances from a talented cast.   Will see you again next year, ST



Please tell the Pirate King, I'm really sorry for interrupting the end of the show at Tatton. I really enjoyed the show but was getting just a bit chilly and wanted to go home. Please can you let me know if you'll be doing Fantastic Mr Fox again next year because the Pirate King said I would really enjoy that too.

Lots of love

Apprentice Pirate K, aged 3.5yrs, indentured until 2028 if you want to invite me back!! Xx



Just to let you know how much I enjoyed the performance of the Pirates of Penzance last Tuesday. The group I was with and I had a real belly laugh all evening. Well done the cymbal playing was extraordinary. But then again so was all the cast and Queen Victoria. I can’t praise you enough. My thanks, MW



Congratulations on a brilliant spirited performance of Pirates. Couldn't imagine how you would cope with a cast of just 7, but it really worked and all of us loved it.  Well done to all and especially Oliver.  Not even the rain at the end dampened anyone's spirits.



I felt I could not resist letting you know how much I enjoyed the performance of Pirates last night at Mottisfont Abbey.  The whole evening was really enjoyable even if the rain started just before the end!  Why I doubted that 7 actors could fill all the roles I cannot imagine!  It was panto-operetta at it best.  I thoroughly enjoyed the thigh-twacking, the throwing overboard with water effects, the amazing costume changes, the bearded maidens, everything.  The choreography was superb and the accompanist very good indeed.  But it was the actors that made it.  They could all sing, they all had presence and I especially liked the Pirate Kings leather jeans - I just wished I'd have worn mine!  Was the Police Sergeant based on Churchill and Groucho Marx? - C



Just saw the Pirates show at Epping Forest - ABSOLUTELY blew me away! I hadn't encountered G&S really before, but everything has stayed with me and you have now set me on my way, journeying through the G&S catalogue, to enjoy their music, lyrics and comedy! I met Will and Lizzie who were both awesome, but thought I should just say THANKS for a killer show! JC x



Dear Illyria,


I just wanted to pass on my thanks and congratulations to you for your amazing production of Fantastic Mr Fox. I brought my 3 children (age 6, 5 and 3) to Corfe Castle last Thursday which involved a 2 night camping trip (on our own for the 1st time as my husband had to work). As you well know the weather was appalling and after a day of trying to keep us all warm and dry, by the time we were eating our picnic tea I was thinking to myself that it was at least madness bordering on abusive to have the children out in the cold and wet at a time when they are usually tucked up in bed. I was well prepared with blankets and waterproofs and with the additional help of National Trust ponchos I decided we would brave it out at least until the interval. From the moment the play started the weather, frankly, could have done anything it chose. The children (and I) were captivated and enthralled. No question of leaving during the interval, instead the children entertained the toilet queue with their ‘digga digga digging’ and couldn’t wait for the 2nd half to begin. We loved how true the play was to the book, and you captured the essence of Roald Dahl perfectly with a brilliant mix of humour and fear (my 5 year old daughter is adamant that the guns were real or how else would Mr Fox’s tail have come off?!). We loved every minute of it and it utterly compensated for the disastrous weather that made the rest of the trip less than perfect. We returned to our flooded campsite and happily fell asleep singing ‘Cider Inside Her’. Thank you again for bringing a fantastic story to life so brilliantly and giving us a truly memorable evening.


JY. Yateley, Hampshire.



Twelfth Night

Caught you at Bridgemere on 13th August. It was a great evening with a wonderful performance. All five (or were there more?) were great comedians. Glad to learn from the programme that Olivia is marrying her clown next year. Or is Sir Toby about to wed Antonio? In any event congratulations, and every success to you all at Illyria.



Hi to all. This is a note of praise and appreciation for you. We went to see 'Twelfth Night' on the 12th of August at Bodnant Gardens. It was my first time seeing an open air theatre and I was thoroughly impressed and loved every minute. My boyfriend has seen you perform numerous times before and so when he saw you were in our area again he went straight to book tickets and was very excited. The enthusiasm and obvious love of the actors for what they do is a joy to see and creates a wonderful atmosphere. Thank you for a great evening.....we will definitely be back for more! Keep enjoying what you do and all the best till then. SD



You have two new fans. My son and I attended both Twelfth Night and Pirates of Penzance. We had not been to any of your productions before, but will definitely attend again. They were both excellent. How you do it with so little equipment is beyond me. Please keep coming to Nostell. JR



I would like to congratulate the actors from Pirates of Penzance, the performance was amazing! I have been to see about 6 performances over the years and I thought this was the best so far! Keep the laughs coming! Many congratulations again and I cannot wait to see what you bring out next year! GM 16



Hi just wanted to say I saw the Pirates of Penzance at Newstead Abbey and I really enjoyed it. I wondered if you ever thought of doing Copacabana. Thanks for a great evening. S



I just feel compelled to write and thank you for the most tremendous performance of Fantastic Mr Fox last night at Ightham Mote, Sevenoaks.  My children were enthralled and spellbound.  What a joy to listen to their peels of laughter.  My 7 year old son has been inspired to read as many Roald Dahl books as possible and claims that theatre productions are far superior to films.  What better praise could there be than that!  My husband and I loved every second.  The performance was energy filled from start to finish, containing some wonderful inventive effects such as the slow motion saving of the little girl fox and the forward facing walking scene with the cider!  I am busy spreading the word to all my friends to get tickets for other performances so that they do not miss out on a truly superb evening. Highlights were the three farmers especially Bunce's poor flexibility, the drunken rats, and the wonderful way the music was interwoven into the performance.  A gifted cast and special mention to Natalie Piper who was outstanding. Thank you and see you next year.  Xx TT



Just a quick email to say how much we enjoyed the performance of the 12th Night at Bridgemere Garden Centre last Saturday. It was excellent and a really enjoyable evening. Hope to see you again next year.



Just a quick note to say that my boyfriend and I had a wonderful time on Saturday 20th Aug at your Pirates of Penzance show at Nostell Priory. The cast were just brilliant as always. Illyria shows are now part of our annual calendar of outings - no matter what's going on, we always ensure we make at least one show every summer...Last night was as funny as the first time we ever saw Illyria play the 'Three Muskaeeers' in Nottingham 2009 which had us giggling for days after. Our friends and family are quickly realising that they are missing out and intend to come along next time! All the best for your Holland tour. You are all absolutely fantastic! C & M xxx



Pirates of Penzance Drumlanrig Castle 16th August 2011

Dear Illyria, Thank you for a great performance in an amazing setting. The power, effort , enthusiasm, and quality was so strong it even held the threatening weather at bay and led to some amazing natural lighting back drops on the castle behind.   We have been great fans of the Pirates of Penzance after dicovering the performaces from the Broadway productons with Kevin Kline , Linda Ronstadt and Tony Azito (Policemen bending back) and especially the Australian version with Jon English, Tim Tyler et al.  Your performance was just as entertaining and with your limited cast with regards to numbers was just amazing. We are now ardent fans of Illyria and look forward to your future performances here in Scotland. Regards S, C, H (12 years) B



Firstly, I have to say this year's Fantastic Mr Fox was absolutely phenomenal - thank you. Best EA



12th Night and P of P

Only found Illryia this year and was at both performances at Drumlanrig. Both brilliant and hope to see more of Illyria in the Dumfries and Galloway area. JM



Pirates of  Penzance - Newstead Abbey - 19th August 2011We had a wonderful evening  and have not enjoyed this high standard of performance for years. I thought the cast were superb and gave it their all.Well done to them as they obviously have great passion for their art.Thanks to all for an excellent show.




Having just watched Illyria's performance of Fantastic Mr Fox at Corfe Castle this evening I wanted to write straight away to thank you all for such a wonderful performance. My children Freya (6yrs), Finlay (3yrs) & Frankie (9mths) as well as us parents were all completely enraptured. We sang lines from the show all the way home. The rain was certainly no dampener. We will definitely be looking out for your name again and spreading the word. The children already want to know when they can see James & the Giant Peach. Will you be putting on this show next year?

Please, please keep up all your fabulous work. We loved you! Thanks for a wonderful evening.


The F family.




Just had to write and tell you how much my friends and I enjoyed Twelfth Night at Logie Steading. We saw Pirates as well and have been to performances for three previous years, but agreed that although we loved them all, Twelfth Night was just a topper from every point of view. All the members of the cast were tremendous and gave outstanding performances. The production and direction and attention to detail could not be bettered. Shakespeare would have loved it and applauded wholeheartedly. Everyone appreciated the rip-roaring humour, not dampened at all by the heavy rain. This is real theatre. A very big thank you to all the cast and Illyria for a truly memorable evening.

With best wishes




8 of us went to see 12th Night in Bodnant Gardens.

It rained! and we laughed and laughed.

And it rained ..... it didn't matter ..... we laughed and laughed and laughed !

Somebody said  'pox on the rain'   and we laughed some more.

We enjoyed it so much and even though it rained there was nothing we could do about that but we could enjoy ourselves and we did.


“Fate, shew thy force,  ourselves we do not owe,

What is decreed, must be, and this be so.”


Many thanks.

JR and C, R, M & Company.



Dear "Queen Victoria",

I address you thus because I had the privilege of asking you kindly to pass on our congratulations to your superb Pirates of Penzance cast who performed

so brilliantly in Malmesbury last evening. Never before have we seen such an enjoyable production, so polished and for this scribe, who benefits from help

with hearing, she heard absolutely every word, both sung and said. That in itself is a real achievement! Thank you all very much indeed. Never before could

we ever envisage a G. and S. operetta being staged by a cast of seven!

We would like to know more about Illyria and to be able to keep in touch. (We do not use social network sites!).

If all else fails, please come back to Malmesbury as soon as possible.

lots of love and best wishes

L and J P



Dear Oliver

We were asked last night at Wallington to give you our comments on the performance of the Pirates of Penzance - so here they are: A wonderfully entertaining show from the first moment the Pirates came on stage. We have not laughed so much for a long time. The performers were wonderful. We were amazed at their energy, adaptability and very quick changes of not only costume but sexuality! They deserve a very big thanks.

It was our first experience of Illyria and we will definitely be on the lookout for the next performance in our area.

Keep up the good work!

D & S C



To Everyone concerned with the production of Twelfth Night at Bodnant Gardens last Friday evening, it was simply amazing.

This is the second year that I've attended, being present for Romeo & Juliet last year. The humour and antics of the cast made me laugh. Bodnant is an ideal setting even if the weather is not always perfect, getting wet adds to the enjoyment!

Well done everyone, hopefully you will return next year with another brilliant production.

Best wishes for your to you all for the future .




So enjoyed Twelfth Night and Pirates of Penzance -unfortunately missed the Fantastic Mr. Fox -will you be repeating that any time? Too far to go to the Netherlands.



Hi Ollie!  Saw Pirates at Tatton last night and your crew did you justice. Excellent adaptation, great enthusiasm from all the cast and the singing was great. Well done to all.  Hope everything is going well in Holland. Love J



My wife and I would like to record our thanks for the wonderful production of The Pirates of Penzance in Wanstead Park last weekend; you were even able to successfully stage-manage the weather. Fantastic afternoon!



I came to your brilliant production of Pirates of Penzance in Bridport on Wednesday.  I enjoyed it so much that I would like to Facebook this site to my friends, so please can you send me the link when you have re-constructed the site.  Many thanks.



Still buzzing from a terrific performance at Sterts in Cornwall last night. Performing to a packed house the players charged their performance with such energy, enthusiasm and professionalism it was a joy to watch. A Gilbert and Sullivan virgin I was a little dubious about what the experience would yield but they brought a real of-the-moment freshness to the whole thing. Even picking up on the number of local pirates in the audience.....arrrgh! Congratulations to the whole crew, we'll be looking out for Illyria's visit next year.



To the cast and crew of Fanstastic Mr Fox,

We just wanted to thank and congratulate you all on a wonderful evening of entertainment we had as a family at Kedleston Hall recently. We brought my 4yr old and 16 month old - both were enthralled! My older son particularly loved the slapstick fights of Bogis, Bunce and Bean - typical boy! He still bursts into renditions of the dig-a-dig-dig chant and the 'cider' song - you have left a lovely memory. Many thanks and good luck with future performances,

K L & family



Dear Illyrians,

I enjoyed your performance of Pirates of Penzance at Newstead Abbey on Friday night.  It was wonderful and well done with just a cast of 7.  The cast gave their all, and I along with the rest of the audience had a wonderful night out. In congratulating the cast after the show I mentioned that in Australia a group have done a version of The Mikado.  They are called Promac Productions and they have a FaceBook page at : did promise to send information on this to them, so hope it is useful. Again, well done to all on a great show C L-F

PS If you are ever looking for more cast members or a director please contact me…lol




Just wanted to let you know that the Illyrians in tonight's performance of Twelfth Night were absolutely brilliant!

We were completely enthralled and entertained by a great, engaging performance from everyone. (Not to mention the Director... And the weather was good, so Eeeey!... then again, I don't think we'd have noticed if it wasn't as the show was a stunner!)



Thanks for keeping this up so for long. We only recently discovered Illyria. We hope you'll be around to become a family tradition for us for a long time to come. Many thanks for the dedicated work. It's really appreciated and there's no doubt we'll see you again...

M and J



Illyrians All,

Just to send you our appreciation for such a terrific, swashbuckling and entertaining show on Thursday in Crawley.  It really was the perfect antidote to a week of awful news - the chance to relax and enjoy a particular favourite G & S, as it was the first one I ever saw performed.

Not only can Illyria be counted on to provide great fun, but also music and diction of the highest quality (these are sometimes absent from the professional stage!)  I thought that nothing could be better than Pride & Prejudice but The Pirates was equally excellent.  The voices of Anna and James were so beautiful, and the whole ensemble worked together as one.  How you all cope with the quick costume-changes, props, etc on a slippery stage and still perform so brilliantly is unbelievable.  Whoever designed the pirate ship deserves a special mention - it looked magnificent in full sail!  Well done to all! Not forgetting Q. Victoria, and the flying fish.  Keep on coming to Sussex please!


A and D W



Dear Sir,

We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening at Escot last Tues.[Aug.9th] watching the Illyria version of "Pirates of Penzance"  We are avid G. and S. fans and I have been in Axe Vale Amateur Operatic Society for over forty years.  I think to date I have done "Pirates" four times and loved every minute - its my favourite .

The production at Escot was excellent.  Must admit I did wonder how it could possibly be performed with only seven players plus the occasional appearance of the Musical Director as Bishop of Penzance and Queen Victoria, and performed with great dexterity !!

We will most certainly be more aware of the Company and be ready for next years programme.

We holiday in Cornwall each Sept. and always visit the Minack for whatever G.andS. is on and guess what - this year its "Pirates", which hopefully we will enjoy as much as we did yours.  Many Congratulations to all the actors and to all who make it 'work'.  Here's to next year !!

best wishes,

A and B R



Wonderful production. Many congratulations to the cast. We all love G&S, any chance you`ll do another ?

Thank you for all the pleasure you bring with your inspired productions.

M, T, D and S.



Dear sir

Thank you and the cast for an enjoyable evening.  The play [Twelfth Night] was wonderfully played by the five artists who did a superb job, even with all their character changes.  it was, thankfully, a warm night, with only the midges pestering later on.

Hope to see you again soon.

Yours sincerely

S & P H



Good afternoon

We saw the Pirates last night with your team of talented actors - we thoroughly enjoyed it and loved every moment. Luckily the British weather was with us, so that combined with the wonderful Escot setting, your team of actors worked hard with such professionalism and enthusiasm, and gave us a brilliant evening's entertainment. We have seen Illyria before at Escot, and love the reduced cast idea, which creates its own level of fun in all the productions. It was great that all the actors were enthusiastic during the performance, and appeared to be enjoying it themselves. The speed of character and costume changes was handled very well - all in all, a good night out, so a very warm 'Well done' and 'Thank you' to you and your team.

E and N H

Whimple, Devon

PS We think that they do deserve a massage chair, though.



Last night we went with a party to the performance at Escot. What a treat! And I do not mean the music of G&S. The cast were enthusiastic, their performance, facial expressions and body language were superb and they excelled in the seamless changes between characters. A thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Many thanks!

Y L et al



Dear Illyria,

I don't know if this is the place to say it but PHENOMENAL; that is, the Pirates of Penzance at Escot this evening and Fantastic Mr Fox last week. How rarely does one enjoy the perfect moment without fretting about past or future, but to really live and enjoy the NOW.

Ever since we first saw you doing Robin of Sherwood six years ago, Illyria has become the essence of Summer, and we always look out for your shows.

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone involved




Hello Oliver,

I just want to say that yesterday evening's production of 'Twelfth Night' at Salisbury was truly brilliant. Even the rain held off until we reached our car after the performance. We've been fans of small-scale outdoor theatre for some time, yet for some reason we've never seen an Illyria production before. I'll be seeing 'Pirates of Penzance' at Mottisfont Abbey in a couple of weeks time, and now I'm looking forward to it even more.

Keep up the excellent work.

Best wishes,

E & P D



Hi Oliver

Thanks for the message, we did bring our seating, but it didn’t matter.  We all thought that the show was fantastic, with such a limited cast, a lot of cross dressing – particularly hilarious when the chaps were playing the general’s daughters, not to mention Queen Victoria!  We can’t wait to see what will be on next year.

Kind regards




We wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed last nights performance of Twelfth Night.

The cast were fantastic, never stopped working before during and after the performance, and brought Twelfth Night to life in a way we have never seen before but which we are convinced was exactly the effect Shakespeare was striving for when he wrote it - a joy from start to finish!

How you guys put on a performance like that for the pittance you charge us to watch it is beyond understanding - we are just glad you do, so don't ever stop

The cast list by the way was inspired!!!

Thanks again for a great night, looking forward to the next one

A & A

PS Alastair was right about that hat - ruined  the whole night for me........(kidding!!)



Dear Oliver,

I was delighted to attend the performance at 'Oystermouth Castle', on August 4th, along with my daughter, son-in-law, two grandchildren and a good friend. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening's performance, which was greatly enhanced by the beautiful backdrop of the Castle. It was so pleasing too, to be able to bring the children along, although my eleven month old grandaughter was quite vocal, a thespian in the making perchance?

It was amazing to witness the versatility of the cast, and their enthusiasm, to learn one part for a Shakespearean play, let alone several, along with changes of costume and dialects is a feat in itself!

Congratulations and a huge 'well done' to one and all, and long may it continue!

Kind regards,

J R (Brummie born and bred, but now residing in Pontardawe)



Dear Sir and/or Madam,

Just a brief line or two to congratulate the Director & entire Cast of “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (Performance Goffs Park 03.08.11)

As an Equity registered Actor/Director myself I just wanted to say a huge Bravo to all involved in a masterfully Directed and Acted piece of Theatre !!!............All performances’ and direction were so “ON”............ Fantastic multiple characterisation , multiple shared musical & percussion skills’................ and lovely audience connection...........

 Although as stated , all of the performers were truly “Fantastic”.......I would single out Natalie Piper for her outstanding commitment and characterisation...........

Myself and my Children had an enchanted evening, thank you all so much..........

Keep up the lovely Work...................



Hi Oliver,

Just a quick email to say how much I enjoyed Pirates last night- and so glad the weather held off in the end!

All the best,




I saw the Pirates of Penzance at Raby Castle, Nr Barnard Castle,  on Friday 29 July and I just wanted to say how good it was and how much I enjoyed it.  The cast were amazing and they obviously enjoyed performing it as much as the audience enjoyed watching it.

Best wishes




Dear Illyrians,

My wife and I attended the production of the Pirates of Penzance at Raby Castle last Friday night.  It was our first Illyrian production and we thought it was marvellous.  The cast were superb and the setting magical.  Please can we have more performances at this delightful spot.  The walled garden with its sloping lawn lends itself beautifully to a production and with the castle as a backdrop really puts you in the mood for laughter and entertainment.

Well done to all concerned

From two new fans

P and M J



Hi there - just been to see the fantastic Illyria production of the Pirates of Penzance at the Gloucester Quays - it was truly amazing ... I loved every minute and so did my two children - age 8 and 7!!  They were captivated by it.  Gosh how very talented your actors were.

I am totally interested in seeing another production next year - do you know when and what plays they will be doing at the same venue next year - I missed out on 12th Night this year (fully booked) and want to make sure I don’t miss out next year.

Many thanks




We loved the performance [Fantastic Mr Fox] this evening. Many congratulations - you were soooo engaging - fab! RB



Hello. My husband and I attended the performance of Pirates at Raby Castle last night and want to say how much we enjoyed the lively and energetic performance. One point which we felt is particularly worthy of note is the diction of all the performers. We heard every single word, which has not always been the case when we have attended performances in indoor theatres. Please pass on our thanks to all members of the cast and may Illyria thrive for many years to come. Thank you, D and P S, Durham City



I meet with 3 other ladies every couple of months, each taking a turn to surprise the others with a different venue.  My turn came round 28th July so I took them to this outdoor performance which transpired to be FABULOUS!

Congratulations to the writer, producer of this Twelfth Night and huge THANKS to each actor who provided an entertaining and outstanding performance.  Just 5 but very talented actors - a sleek and funny performance - well worth making time to watch.

Besides the humour, musical talent, the costume changes were so speedy and seeing the most effective use of a stage and props - quite BRILLIANT!

My first time attending something like this - something I wish to repeat.

Thank you





The actors were fantastic - wish it was still running so that all my friends could go and have as much fun as I did last night.  So innovative, creative - the musical interludes were fab.  The only downside was that I couldn't always hear what the actors were saying because the audience was laughing so loudly.  VERY humorous.  A great performance all round - really enjoyable.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.



I had the pleasure of seeing your brilliant production of Twelfth Night at Bristol Zoo last night but was unable to get hold of a programme due to their being in short supply (the result of a leaky van, I gather). Is there any way I can obtain a copy from you? It was a memorable production and performance, enhanced by the roaring of lions off stage right! RB



Just wanted to say that all five of us thought that the production was one of your best yet! Brilliant comedy, wonderful music, amazing costumes, fabulous cast, marvellous interpretation - on a par with Three Musketeers, a couple of years ago. Off to Lanhydrock next month to see Twelfth Night! Very best wishes for the rest of your tour


The hard seats at Penlee are worth it to sit on the front row!_



What a wonderful time we have had this evening. The actors were brilliant at engaging the audience right from the beginning. This was one of my favourite stories as a child that I re- read countless times. My 3 children would agree that to see an adaptation so true to the original story, with hilarious comic touches was an absolute treat. At one point I looked around the audience to see every single adult and child with expressions of sheer enjoyment. That’s what theatre should be about!

A huge thank you for a memorable evening. Is it possible to purchase prints of the advertising poster for the show or prints of the characters for my childrens bedrooms?

Kind regards,

M F  



[Twelfth Night] Thank you for a great evening’s entertainment in the Penlee Park. Awonderful group of entertainers. HB



Hello Mr Director

I just would like to say what a fab production that your company preformed of Pirates of Penzance. It was one of the best productions that I've seen and I laughed all the way through. The acting was superb. It wasn't until after the show that I realised all the different roles the actors had played which was true clever and splendid acting indeed.

Looking forward to seeing you all again

A very happy audience person


PS Not to mention my mother who is 85 enjoyed it too!!



Fantastic! Direction & acting superb!

Amazed at the 1-night stands you commit to delivering & some of the overnight drives you do! Hope the Dutch appreciate all the vulgar jests.

Tons of luck            Lawrence Paine



Brilliant show, looking forward to youre next G&S.

Mike U



[Pirates of Penzance] Rum truffles for the cast please. It was tremendous.




Dear Illyria,

I am writing to let you know that that my mum and I both enjoyed seeing the performance of Twelfth Night at Cawdor Castle on Saturday 23rd, it was fantastic!

The costume changes were outstanding, at times you could swear there were seven performers and not five, and their ability to switch roles in seconds was a pleasure to watch. The fact that mum can't think of a single fault is a testament to their performance and the skill of the actors. Bravo! Give them a bonus, or a "pat on the bum", which ever is their preference!

Their performance has inspired us to see more and we look forward to seeing The Pirates if Penzance on the 3rd of August at Logie.

Yours Sincerely

John MacLennan



The Director,

We have just seen the show at Oundle what a great evening, we had to come over from Dereham as this was the nearest venue, maybe in future if you are doing other tours you could come over our way ,

Regards F C




I am writing in response to the performance, last evening, of Twelfth Night. May I say that, despite the midges at Drumlanrig, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

The performers made everybody feel welcome from the word go, mingling and speaking while trying to sell the programmes. We've all been there!! They worked their socks off, both on stage and off.

Anyway thanks to all, including the people behind the scenes, because they're always there.

Kind Regards,





I'm just emailing to say how much I enjoyed your performance of Twelfth Night at Newstead Abbey on Saturday night. It was extremely well done, with superb acting and energy- - how you managed to play all the parts with only 5 actors was extremely clever and skilful. I went with my 71 year old Mum, who was worried that she might not be able to hear, but that wasn't a problem at all, even though we were sat quite far back. I'm not a big Shakespeare buff at all and had never seen or read Twelfth Night before, but you really brought it alive, in a way that I could imagine it would have been done in Shakespeare's time so it was a real insight into English acting history as well! I also liked the clever musical touches, such as when Malvolio was dressing up in his yellow trousers, and the use of the stage and it's curtain was also extremely clever.

Great entertainment, in a beautiful setting, and wonderful weather!

Looking forward to seeing another performance!




Hello Pirates

A very big thank you for a superb evening at Greys Court on 16th July.  We'd had a difficult day for many reasons but your wonderful multi-talented cast and their brilliant performance blew all our cares away and made the world seem a better place.  PLEASE bring the Pirates back next year so that we can share this wonderful show with our friends and family.  

Rum Truffles all round and our warmest thanks to everyone involved.

B and D L



Hi, I'm P R,

Just to let you know that I am still buzzin from last nights performance of Twelfth Night by Illyria . I had never been to an outdoor show before but it was a fantastic experience from start to finish. I cannot tell you in words alone how much I enjoyed it all and I am amazed by the talent and ability of the cast who are very brilliant. I will never forget it! My favourite character had to be Sir Toby Belch played by Miriam Jay Allwright. I was in stitches at that moustache goin up and down. I was rollin believe me. Roarin with much laughter! Congratulations Mr Oliver Gray on your creation. I salute you fine Sir x




My wife and I went to see Pirates at Lytham Hall on Thursday, and from the smiles and chuckles whilst reading the anagram names in the programme to the smiles and laughter all the way through the show, this production was a complete joy!  The cast had to work so hard and with such skill to cover all the parts, and the chorus bits too, that they must have been exhausted by the end.  Of course, a lot of hard, skillful work had previously been done by the production team and they can be proud of themselves too!

What a great evening - and the picnic was good too!

Best wishes and many thanks




My wife and I have recently attended Twelfth Night in Sherborne and The Pirates of Penzance at Kilver Court.

Just wanted to say both performances were fantastic. We can’t wait till next season. The setting at Kilver court is amazing - we hope you continue to use it.

Well done, all of you.





About a week ago now, a close friend of mine saw your production of Pirates of Penzance at Chepstow Castle in Wales. She was so complimentary of the cast and the performance, I went to see it myself at Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet. I was not disappointed! The vocal standard was extremely high, the comic timing was impeccable and the ingenuity of the reduced cast version was simply breath taking.

My huge congratulations to the cast, the crew and all those involved.

J L, Bristol.  



Dear Mr Gray (or The Boss as the cast refer to him),

We have just returned from seeing the Illyria production of Pirates of Penzance at Ness Gardens.  As always we thoroughly enjoyed the show and even the weather was good. It was also nice to see some of the familiar members of the cast.  Unfortunately we can only put a name to Lizzy Dive whose name we looked up in last years programme for James and the Giant Peach. Is there a programme available for Pirates this year?  Perhaps it may be possible to post to the address below or take to Attingham Park on 29th July when we see The Fantastic Mr Fox or Bodnant Gardens on 12th August when we see Twelfth Night.  We were reluctant to mention it to the cast on the night as they would have been having their own celebrations.  Many congratulations to the Pirate King and Ruth.  We attach a couple of photos and apologise for not having had the presence of mind to take a picture of the Pirate King on bended knee!


We are, without doubt, some of your seasoned followers and fondly remember nine years ago our first visit to the Reluctant Dragon, which so impressed us and our then young children, that we saw it twice.  Our youngest daughter,  always keen to be near the front, was also picked on to assist Robin Hood.  She claims that she knew what was happening when the apple was placed on her head, but we are not convinced.  Also an older male relative at Flint Castle was rather embarrassed to find himself bouncing round the grounds on a pink fluffy space hopper.


The cast also are always friendly and willing to chat as we found out when we discovered we were staying at the same holiday park in Holland as the James cast last year.


It’s hard to imagine a summer without at least one visit to an Illyria production.  We look forward to seeing all three productions this year.  They are always thoroughly entertaining, be they Shakespeare, 'family shows' or light opera.


Thank you to all concerned both on stage and behind the scenes.

A S, H, E & A D



Morning Oliver

I and was very pleased to be able to see another Illyria performance last night - Twelfth Night at Brading.

It was fantastic, as always, and a real credit to all the team involved.

Also very pleasing that Miriam, who had been involved in the Pride and Predjuduce production, made a particular effort to come and chat to us again last night.

Please pass on my thanks to her and the rest of the group.

best wishes




Just home from seeing Pirates of Penzance at Edge Hill College, Ormskirk. What a wonderful performance. It captivated and charmed a very appreciative audience and gave us all a fantastic afternoon to remember. We all hope you come back to this part of the world very very soon. Tarantara!

G S.



Hi Illyrians,

Finally remembered to email you after a play to say that, as ever, you were all brilliant! We love coming to see your company at the Welsh Wildlife Centre every year. I know everyone says it, but it never ceases to amaze us how few of you there are! You are very clever. Looking forward to Pirates of Penzance,

Best wishes,

J and B I.



Just wanted to say we had a most enjoyable evening at Hanbury Hall, it was a truly amazing setting, last Saturday. We were a party of 8 and even the youngest of 7 yrs thought the show was fantastic. Weather was lovely, just a perfect evening. Thank you and the team so much, we are all ready looking forward to the next one.



Just a quick thank you for a brilliant evening [Fantastic Mr Fox].  Excellent acting, imaginative stage and wardrobe and above all lots of fun!  Kids just wanna have fun and even the adults loved it too.  Particularly liked the use of music and sound effects and quick character changes.

My 10 year old daughter said it was the "best theatre she had ever seen"  and she isn't one to dole out compliments easily!

Thank you

G and A



Dear Mr Gray

I would like to thank you and the whole cast for yet another evening of Shakespeare at Dyffryn Gardens near Cardiff.  This year it was Twelfth Night that delighted us with its fast moving, hilarious development of events.  The cast were superb, as was the weather (an added bonus but I we would have loved it in the rain, too!).

When are you coming back to South Wales?  Soon we hope!

Kind regards P W and C M