Scottish Opera: The Pirates of Penzance, Festival Theatre, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Scottish Opera, a co-production with D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
Gilbert and Sullivan, The Pirates of Penzance
Stephanie Corley (Mabel), Nicholas Sharratt (Frederic), Rosie Aldridge (Ruth). Graeme Broadbent (Sergeant of Police), Steven Page (The Pirate King), Richard Suart (Major-General Stanley), Katie Grosset (Edith), Sioned Gwen Davies (Kate), Andrew McTaggart (Samuel), Catrine Kirkman (Isabel). John Owen Edwards (conductor), Martin Lloyd-Evans (director), Jamie Vartan (designer), Steve Elias (choreographer), Colin Grenfell (lighting).
Running time

The curtain rises and we see a squint map of that furthest end of Cornwall, and then a lone seagull flutters past soon to be followed by a fish. The scene is set and the orchestra begins the familiar Gilbert and Sullivan music. Scottish Opera, in a co-production with D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, give us the simple sophistication of the tale of a young man mistakenly trained as a pirate instead of a pilot thinking this is the day he ends his indenture.

Nicholas Sharratt as Frederic, the young man, is entirely believeable as he clambers ashore and discovers a dozen or so of the Major-General’s young women frolicking, after rejecting Rosie Aldridge’s Ruth, the only woman he has known up to now.

The Pirates arrive under Steven Page, their Pirate King, and we watch Richard Suart, the Major-General, perhaps a bit too bumbled at first but becoming clearer as he spouts ten words a second, trying to impress.

Graeme Broadbent, the sergeant of police, brings his humour and it is hard not to laugh. In the end the young man gets Stephanie Corley’s Mabel, and the rejected Ruth gets her man.

It was a great evening with a smile on my face nearly all the time. Highly recommended.

Performance reviewed: Tuesday 28th May 2013 at 7.15pm.
Further Edinburgh performances on Thursday 30th May at 7.15pm, Friday 31st May at 7.15pm and Saturday 1st June at 2.15pm and 7.15pm.