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Caricature - Derek Taverner conducting <font -i>Aladdin</font -i>
  • Derek Taverner conducting Aladdin
    Sommerlad, Gilbert, born 1904 - died 1976
  • Enlarge image

Derek Taverner conducting Aladdin

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Oxford (made)

  • Date:

    December 1957-January 1958 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sommerlad, Gilbert, born 1904 - died 1976 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil on cream cartridge paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Michael Sommerlad

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This caricature shows Derek Taverner conducting a performance of Aladdin at the Oxford New Theatre during Christmas 1957. It was drawn by Gilbert Sommerlad (1904-1976), a rehearsal pianist and orchestral violinist at the Brighton Theatre Royal from 1932 until 1936, and at the Oxford New Theatre from 1936 for over forty years. Sommerlad sketched the stars on stage when he wasn't needed in the orchestra pit, compiling the sketches in a series of albums.

Derek Taverner was a composer and conductor active in Britain from the 1950s to the 1970s. He was perhaps best known for his work with Jimmy Perry, including the signature tunes for the television series Dad's Army, and It Ain't Half Hot Mum.

Physical description

Pencil caricature of Derek Taverner conducting Aladdin, dated Christmas 1957/1958, part of an artist's hard-backed sketch book manufactured by George Rowney & Co., called 'The Euston Sketch Book'. The pencilled sketch is drawn directly onto the page (cream cartridge paper). Titled and dated by the artist and signed by the subject.

Place of Origin

Oxford (made)


December 1957-January 1958 (dated)


Sommerlad, Gilbert, born 1904 - died 1976 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil on cream cartridge paper

Marks and inscriptions

Pencil inscription by Gilbert Sommerlad

Derek Taverner
Pen and ink inscription

Half of a recipe for a ginger cake with cream filling
Verso, in biro, not in Gilbert Sommerlad's hand


Height: 7.4 cm, Width: 10.6 cm

Object history note

The artist of these caricatures, Gilbert Sommerlad, was by profession a musician who was born into a family that had a long tradition of professional musicians. In 1936 he moved to the recently built New Theatre, Oxford, to join his brother Roy (violin and clarinet) as resident pianist.

Gilbert was an exceptionally good and popular rehearsal pianist, and visiting companies and individual performers used to make sure that he would be available. He became well-known in the profession and his ability as a caricaturist became common knowledge. The volume that includes this drawing contains sketches mostly of musical directors and conductors working at the Oxford New Theatre with Gilbert Sommerlad.

Descriptive line

Pencil caricature of Derek Taverner conducting Aladdin, drawn by Gilbert J. Sommerlad, England, dated Christmas 1957-8

Subjects depicted

Conductors (musicians)


Caricatures & Cartoons; Drawings; Entertainment & Leisure


Theatre and Performance Collection

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