1997 Pirates of Penzance

Pirates of Penzance
Performance dates: 
5th-7th June 1997
Performance times: 
Cordes Hall, Sunninghill


The Pirates of Penzance (1880) followed HMS Pinafore (1878) and together these were the most popular and successful productions of the sparkling partnership of Gilbert & Sullivan.

 It was fashionable in Victorian times to have plays about Cornish pirates, and Gilbert lost no time in penning a parody. His mockery is intertwined with the other great targets of his satire, society and the law. Sullivan obliged with music worthy of the opera.

 The story tells of Frederick, a pirate by accident of deafness, trying to escape the clutches of both his comrades and his amorous nurse Ruth. He finds an agreeable group of young ladies, and is about to make off with Mabel when his intentions interrupted by the pirates. His prospective father in law, Major-General Stanley talks the pirates out

of marrying all the girls (his daughters!) by claiming to be an orphan.

 Frederick's joy is suddenly threatened when the Pirate King and Ruth reveal that he is still a pirate, and his sense of duty compels him to reveal the 'elegant diction' by which the pirates were deluded. Furious, the Pirate King orders revenge that very night, or maybe tomorrow. Police and Pirates lay in wait, whilst the Major-General walks into the eye of the storm. All seems lost, but the pirates yield to Queen Victoria's name and a happy ending arrives.

Cast list: 

Major-General Stanley


Steve Mathews

The Pirate King


David Mear

Samuel (his Lieutenant)


David Matthews

Frederick (the Pirate Apprentice)


Alan Everett

Sergeant of Police


Francis Bealin-Kelly



Hilary Mear



Jeni Jeffries



Sarah de Ville



Sylvia Knox



Justine Hope

(Saturday only)


Julia Lawson



Chorus of Pirates, police and General Stanley's Daughters


Frank Bush, Denis Corless, Pat Dean, Bill Everett, Peter Harris, Peter Lewis,

Steve Mathews, Terry Allen, Mavis Bush, Joan Corless, Barbara Capelin,

Jackie de Ville, Rosemary Everett, Julia Lawson, Adrienne Matthews,

Eileen Meerbeek, Shirley Miller, Valerie Ryalls, Jonna Sinclair, Angela Warden.

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