THE National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company return to Darlington Hippodrome with three brand new productions of The Gondoliers, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado – arguably three of the most popular Savoy Operas – and The Northern Echo has tickets to give away.

The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company was formed in 1994 to headline the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival.

All performances are accompanied by the national Festival Orchestra and together they have received outstanding reviews from the national press for their sparkling productions of Gilbert and Sullivan classics.

In The Gondoliers (Thursday, August 1, 7.30pm), brothers Marco and Guiseppe lead a charmed life as Gondoliers in sunny Venice where they marry Gianetta and Tessa. But the arrival of the Spanish aristocracy presents a royal dilemma when it is revealed that one of the brothers is now the King of Barataria… but which one?

The Pirates of Penzance (Friday, August 2, 7.30pm) probably needs little or no introduction. Jam-packed with sentimental, swashbuckling pirates who are really peers of the realm, a completely dotty Major General and a bumbling bunch of hopeless but hilarious policemen, what could possibly go wrong?

The Mikado (Saturday, August 3, 2.30pm and 7.30pm) likewise needs no introduction. Set in the fictional Japanese town of Titipu, The Mikado satirises British society, customs and pretensions through a farcical Gilbertian plot brimming with humour.

To be in with a chance of winning two tickets for one of the three productions, answer the following question:

  • Which London theatre is famous for being the original home for Gilbert & Sullivan productions?

Send your entries (outlining your preferred choice of production to see), including a telephone number and (if possible) email address to: G&S Competition, The Northern Echo, Priestgate, Darlington DL1 1NF or email your entries to with G&S (then your preferred choice of production to see) in the subject line, to reach us by 5pm on Thursday, July 25.

The prize of two tickets is valid for the 7.30pm performance of each of the three shows on offer at Darlington Hippodrome. The prize is non transferable, no cash alternative is available and only valid for the above performance. Winners will be informed by telephone / email.

The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company are at Darlington Hippodrome from Thursday, August 1 to Saturday, August 3. Tickets are available from the Darlington Hippodrome box office on 01325 405405 or through