The Pirates of Penzance
From: Tuesday, 6th January 2004
To: Saturday, 20 March 2004
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'The Pirates of Penzance (or the Slave of Duty)' is probably the most humorous of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, with tuneful melodies and well known songs, Poor Wandering One, I Am The Very Model of a Modern Major General, The Sergeant of Police and Policeman's Chorus.
14 January 2004
Unlike most of Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Savoy operas', The Pirates of Penzance wasn't actually premiered at the Savoy but at the Royal Bijou Theatre in Paignton, Devon, for one performance only on the night before its New York premiere on New Year's Eve in 1879! That was done in order to establish the show's copyright on both sides of the Atlantic and - ironically given the subject matter - to prevent it from being pirated.
So for Steven Dexter's revival at the G&S's natural home, he also returns the show to its original place of birth by setting it in Paignton, where it's being performed as a show-within-a-show on what must pass for Paignton pier. On Francis O'Connor's rudimentary set design mostly comprises blow-ups of Victorian-style postcards that are themed around the show, Dexter's framing device of staging the show as a musical vaudeville is soon made clear.
Thus, a postcard that announces "General Stanley's Daughters" and advertises them ...
Latest User Review
USER: Whatsonstage.com (184.108.40.206) - 14 March 2004:
This is the best show that I have seen for ages. Having recently been to We Will Rock You (absolute load of rubbish) and Phantom (very good), this production was the best by far. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for old and young alike. Gilbert and Sullivan at their best with a modern twist....
Anthony Head (Pirate King)
Elin Wyn Lewis