"Here's a State of Things" is a historical novel which cleverly intertwines the lives of two sets of characters, a hundred years apart, but both absorbed by the works and times of Gilbert and Sullivan and the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. Rupert Moore and his 94-year old Grandmother, Alice Harding, are on their way to attend the final performance in the 107-year existence of the D'Oyly Carte in February 1982. They are both dedicated enthusiasts and Rupert was fortunate enough to have secured tickets for the evening in a ballot. Alice fondly recalls her own family gatherings of the late Victorian era, around the piano at home - the music was always from Gilbert and Sullivan. By contrast to the emotions of the approaching Last Night, the story goes back to the very start of it all in 1872 as seen through the eyes of Thomas Dobbs, a stagehand, and his seamstress wife, Nellie.They live within the grinding poverty of 19th Century London's Shoreditch area, a sharp contrast to the glamour and finery of the world of the Theatre.
When illness forces Nellie out of the "sweatshop" at the local dress factory, inspired by Tom's enthusiasm for his work, she joins her husband in the theatre, utilising her skills backstage. What follows is a lovingly described chronicle of their lives as they become inextricably captivated by D'Oyly Carte and the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. There are many evocative references to theatre life of the times along with anecdotes about the writers, composers and the company, a successful story in contrast to the mournful events of 1982 in London. Lockett's writing lovingly captures the mood of the 19th Century in addition to serving as a fitting tribute to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan and to the original D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.
Bernard Lockett was born in Bow in the heart of London's East End just before the end of World War Two. He began his career in the shipping industry in London and then continued to work in shipping, transport and tourism industries for over 40 years. Bernard Lockett lives with his wife in South East England.