Stumped; A One-off Theatre Group
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The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullvan

Ed Bancroft with his wife, Alice.

 !  Press Coverage so far

The Sheffield Star Saturday May 22, 2004
Swashbuckling Ed's on the look-out for jolly shipmates
Victim marks anniversary of accident with dream role
By Fiona Firth
ED Bancroft was all set to star as the swashbuckling Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance when tragedy struck.
The Sheffield teacher lost a leg in a motorbike accident - which also robbed him of the chance to play the coveted role in an amateur production.
But, almost 10 years after the crash, Ed and his wife Alice, of Sharrow Street, Sharrow, are planning to stage the Gilbert and Sullivan classic and raise cash to help other amputees.
They are looking for singers, musicians and sponsors keen to be part of the production, to be staged in May next year to raise funds for the Adopt-a-Minefield campaign.
The charity, supported by Heather Mills McCartney, clears minefields and helps to rehabilitate victims, including reconditioning old prosthetic limbs for amputees.
Alice explained: "Ed lost his leg in July 1995. He was due to play the Pirate King in a production of Pirates of Penzance at Roche Abbey and the fact that he was unable to play the role was a great disappointment at the time. He still talks about it a lot
"Ed has continued to take part in amateur dramatics since then both as an actor and director and I met him through the Sheffield University Dramatic Society in 1996.
"I realised that the tenth anniversary of the accident is in 2005 and began to think it would be a good idea to put on a production of Pirates to give Ed the chance to play the role and to raise money for charity."

Rotherham Advertiser, Friday, May 13th, 2005
A poignant Pirates
TEN years ago former Rotherham teacher and amateur actor, Ed Bancroft, was involved in a motor-cycle accident which resulted in him having to have his left leg amputated above the knee.
He was due to appear in an open air production of The Pirates of Penzance at Roche Abbey and virtually on its tenth anniversary, Ed and his wife Alice have decided to present a charity presentation of the show.
Friends and several amateur theatre and operatic groups have helped out by providing costumes, singers and musicians, and the company -- Stumped – have chosen to support Adopt-A-Minefield as it helps clear land mines and give support to amputees around the world.
Rotherham theatre stalwart, Ray Globe, will direct Gilbert and Sullivan’s famous operetta, Naomi Deaville, one of Major-General Stanley’s daughters from the Roche Abbey version is choreographer and one of the town’s most popular musical theatre and experienced G & S performers, Steve Andrews, has joined the chorus.
Performances run at Sheffield University Drama Studio, Glossop Road, from Wednesday to Saturday, May 25-28, starting at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.
Tickets, priced £8.50 (£6 concessions and a family ticket of two adults and two children £25), can be booked on 0114 296 0859, or visit


Pirate King : Ed Bancroft

Sheffield Telegraph, Friday, May 13th, 2005

At last Ed plays the Pirate King

TEN years ago Ed Bancroft was going to play the Pirate King in a production of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera at Roche Abbey.
The dream was shattered when he had a leg amputated following a motorcycle crash and never proclaimed that he would “live and die a Pirate King” – until now.
“I tend to mention it a lot and as this year is the 10th anniversary of the accident, my wife Alice thought it might be fun to put on a production of The Pirates of Penzance,” says Ed, approaching 45 and who lives in Sharrow.
The one-time Rotherham mathematics teacher, now teaching drama and theatre studies in Dronfield, says, “We thought we’d do it to raise money for a charity which provides prosthetic limbs for minefield victims.
“We started talking to people like Melvyn Osborne and Terry Hobson who felt it was a good idea, so we got together and formed a company called Stumped. We couldn’t think of another name to be honest!”
Some of the people in Ellesmere Operatic Society’s recent My Fair Lady and members of other Sheffield Society’s who have done Gilbert and Sullivan are in the cast which includes a chorus of 24.



Ed finally gets to do the Pirate King, but Melvyn is not tempting fate by resurrecting Frederic, who reaches the age of 21 during the show (sort of!), from his repertoire. Instead he plays Major General Stanley.
Frederic is actually a 21-year-old, Sheffield University student Stuart Campbell, and the women in his life are Helen Appleton as Mabel who takes pity on the ‘poor wandering one’ and Corrynne Osborne as Ruth, the piratical maid of all work.
Richard Swift is the Sergeant of Police and Terry Hobson, Ellesmere OS’s music director conducts an orchestra which is giving its services free.

Performances are at the University Drama Studio, May 25-28, at 7.30pm, also a Saturday matinee. Tickets, £8.50, £6 concessions, £25 family ticket, are available in advance by calling (0114) 196 0859.

Ed Bancroft in his Pirate King costume, with wife Alice

On Saturday 14th May 2004 Ed and Alice were interviewed by David Stafford on Home Truths, Radio 4.

Near death

In 1995 Ed Bancroft was involved in a motorcycle accident which resulted in the amputation of his leg. It could, however, have been even more serious but for the kind souls who stopped to administer emergency first aid. Ed never found out who they were. The accident also meant that he was unable to play the role of the Pirate King in an upcoming production of The Pirates of Penzance. Ten years on, Ed and his wife Alice are organising another production of The Pirates of Penzance. They would very much like to find Ed's guardian angels and invite them to the show to thank them.

Home Truths