Review by William Mills
Sasha Regan’s All Male The Pirates Of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan opened in Brighton on Tuesday 26 May to an appreciative audience at the Theatre Royal Brighton.
The choreography by Lizzi Gee was first rate and the all male cast fit, and I’m told, attractive young men.
The first act is set on a rocky foreshore somewhere in Cornwall and opens with Frederic (Samuel Nunn) telling his pirate king (Neil Moors) that his apprenticeship to the pirate band is now over as he has reached the age of 21.
Frederic further wants to find love and doesn’t wish to marry his much older maid Ruth (Alex Weatherill). The cast then transform themselves into the lovely young daughters of the Major General(Miles Western) who has recently moved to the area.
The Major General is captured by the pirates yet he appeals to their good nature by pretending to be an orphan who the pirates have a soft spot for.
W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan brought the play to the stage in 1879 at the height of Victorian England. Perhaps the sympathy shown orphans was a reflection of the times as Dickens’ Oliver Twist was also doing the rounds at the time.
However when the pirates discover they have been tricked revenge is plotted!
There are wonderful songs throughout including; ‘I am the very model of a modern Major-General.’ The singing was first rate.
The set was largely improvised with some orange boxes and fishing nets giving a minimalistic appeal. The audience laughed along with this very lighthearted Victorian production. An excellent evening out and good value for the money.