Hot off the stage: Pirates sparkle at the Floral

Hot off the stage: Pirates sparkle at the Floral

Hot off the stage: Pirates sparkle at the Floral

First published in News

WHEN I was at primary school aged nine, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Gilbert and Sullivan by a teacher who had great vision.

She didn't know it would be my first love affair - which still goes on, artistically, that is.

Over the past 30 years, in my capacity as a theatre reviewer, I have seen so many G ands S productions from the amateur to the major companies.

Each has left its mark for different reasons.

I have to say, now in 2014, that this current touring version, making its debut at the fab Floral Pavilion before heading on a UK tour, is one of the best versions I have ever seen.

What an inspiration to sail off with a show about pirates in a town that had a reputation for hosting pirate festivals.

It is polished from start to finish and exudes joy throughout.

The whole ten-strong cast and back-room team are faultless.

The Pirates of Penzance - sub-titled The Slave To Duty had unforgettable melodies and lyrics courtesy of Mr Gilbert (words) and Mr Sullivan (music) allowing performers to make their own mark - whether individually or collectively.

When you have a slick, superb set, colourful costumes and cracking choreographer you will have always have the audience with you as this two-hour plus operetta showed.

There are many laugh-out-loud comic scenes and poignant moments, too.

The likeable hapless pirates led by John Savournin (also masterfully directing) prove a great match for the local constabulary led by Bruce Graham's Sergeant of Police.

This Victorian piece of theatrical satire is timeless.

We may not know the titles, but the G and S greatest hits, are here from the brilliantly blustery Major General song ('I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General') courtesy of Richard Gauntlett to the singalong ' When a Felon's Not Engaged in his Employment' ('Policeman's Lot is Not a Happy One') here performed with such silent-screen timing and much hilarity.

Frederick (Nick Allen) and Elinor Moran's Mabel have real on stage chemistry as apprentice and lovely maiden.

And Ruth, a pirate maid, shines thanks to Sylvia Clarke.

Conductor David Steadman and choreographer Damian Czanecki add their considerable skills to the first of three shows the company are performing Iolanthe and Mikado - the other two.

My first inspirational brush with G and S remains in tact and thanks to shows like this will be alive for years to come.

I felt like a kid again.

Try and catch this exciting, innovative company in New Brighton or on tour.

This Pirates of Penzance was pure Cornish delight.

I can't wait to see their other shows.

5 STARS 

SPARKLING

New Brighton Pavilion Box office 0151 666 0000

Mikado: Friday and Saturday 2.30pm and 7.30pm, Saturday matinee 2.30pm.

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