Review
Pirates of Penzance

By Lucas Ball 27/03 Updated: 27/03 12:40

Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance

Great Witley Operatic Society

The Swan Theatre

PIRATES of Penzance is remembered for such tunes as the Major General’s I am the very model of a modern Major-General with its compendium of all knowledge and the chorus A policeman’s lot is not a happy one.

The whole tone is satirical, from the notion that if you are born on February 29, you only age one year in four.

This ridiculousness is pursued with consummate quality in Roberta Morrell’s direction of GWOS’s production - from the ironic promotion of useless pirates to the House of Lords. So what’s changed?

You have to follow the narrative because the words provide the comedy in the main. In this production, the rapid pronunciation of words does fit in with the rapid tempo from the orchestral pit and can still be heard.

Mike Dhonau’s Pirate King, Michael Faulkner’s Frederic and Lynsey Squair’s Mabel stand out as serious comic singers versus the pirates.

This is enough to make any audience gape in admiration. The maidens’ chorus is moving as well.

The production continues until March 31 with performances at 7.30pm and a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

Lucas Ball

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