EUSOG is the University of Edinburgh’s Gilbert & Sullivan and musical theatre society, and since formation in 1961 has strived to find the best talent both onstage and behind the scenes to produce a wide range of theatre and music. Building on a long tradition of performing the Savoy Operas, since 1988 EUSOG has also achieved great success performing contemporary and classic musicals (recent shows include Fiddler on the Roof, Into the Woods and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.) Since 1993 EUSOG has also been a well-known name at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, celebrating our twentieth year at the Fringe with a sell-out, five-star production of Avenue Q.
In 1961, the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company’s copyright on the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas expired, and in May of that year ‘The Student’ reported the formation of a new student society dedicated to the performance of those operettas. The founder Robert Heath, felt that such a society would be popular among university students, and the Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group was the result. The first show, The Mikado, opened in January 1962 in the Little Theatre in the Pleasance (now the Pleasance Theatre) with a cast of 57 and sold out every night. There have been over 100 EUSOG shows since 1961, including sixty-one by Gilbert & Sullivan.
In 1988 EUSOG presented its first non-G&S show, a production of Oliver!, and the ‘November show’ (as it is now called) rivals the G&S for prominence in our calendar. Past shows range from Offenbach through Brecht/Weil to Sondheim, drawing in a wide range of talent and audiences.
No Edinburgh-based theatre group would be complete without a spell at the famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe which is one of the most exciting times of the year for EUSOG and its members, and the society has become a well-respected name at the Festival. Our 2013 production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown won the Edinburgh Evening News Best Fringe Drama.
We are a very active society with a busy schedule every year of shows and events. EUSOG is about giving people opportunities, and each year and each new generation bring something new and the society goes from strength to strength.
All societies of Edinburgh University must have a constitution, which specifies its aims, office-bearers and various other rules and regulations. Our constitution was last updated in October 2013 and can be accessed here.