If you’ve seen Pirates of Penzance before, there is a chance that Sasha Regan’s production (Palace Theatre) could rate as your all-time favourite. The ultimate Victorian romp, stuffed with pompous policemen, swashbuckling pirates and fair maidens aptly mocks Victorian principles of duty with the deft word- wit and outrageous situations.
Young pirate Frederick, a tender Tom Senior, is turning 21 and can finally graduate from piracy and marry. As he searches for what feminine beauty truly is, a bevvy of young maidens ‘climbing over rocky mountains’ searching for a spot of sun-bathing introduce us to Mabel, vivacious Alan Richardson, who heals the ‘poor, wandering one’ with sincerity as they endure their rocky path to love and marriage.
Here’s an all-male production executed in good taste, weaving the witty music and lyrics with inspired choreography, visual humour and modern characterizations that show you a new side of the classic operetta.
One of the evening’s most hysterical moments features the chorus of maidens sunning themselves at the seafront, to be discovered by the pack of randy pirates. Oliver Savile brings a winning bravado to the role of the Pirate King, mocking his great station in life and injecting the evening with fun. As Major General Stanley, David McKechnie is in the word-perfect form with his famous patter song ‘The Very Model of a Modern Major General’, which takes a hearty stab at the over-educated upper classes. A gloriously pompous Mark Akinforlarin is winning as the chief of police, as is word and diction perfect Leon Craig’s salacious Rutn.
This dream-like production, directed by Sasha Regan is specifically diction drilled and musically well directed by Musical Director Richard Baker. It would be remiss not to mention an ensemble who sing and dance in multiple roles and certainly make the evening a cheery antidote for challenging times. Lizzi Gee’s witty choreography compliments the evening perfectly.
You are safe in the hands of the Nimax Palace Theatre Staff, as their covid protection and socially distanced seating leave little room for error. As the production closes tonight, I suggest you hurry and book a ticket and enjoy a well know operetta with an inspired twist, perfect for the entire family.
- By Gilbert and Sullivan
- Director: Sasha Regan CHoreographer: Lizzi Gee
- Musical DIrector: Richard Baker
- Choreographer: Lizzi Gee
- Cast: Tom Senior, Alan Richardson, Oliver Saville, Leon Craig, David McKechnie, Marc Akinfolarin
- Palace Theatre
- 13 December 2020