Pirates of Penzance ★★★★★
Sasha Regans all male version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance returns to Wiltons Music Hall after 9 years and it didn’t disappoint. With the music coming from just a piano in the corner, it felt like such an intimate performance.
With an all male version of any musical you do run the risk of the female songs being sung low, but this wasn’t the case with this performance. Alan Richardson who played Ruth, hit every note with perfection, it was operatic, there was no wigs, no make up, just men in dresses which created even more comedy then it originally has.
The hero of the show, Frederic (Tom Senior) and the Pirate King (James Thackeray) were the main points of the show and they stole the stage, you couldn’t help but just focus on them, they had stage presence which worked for them as the stage was constantly busy, things were always happening.
I don’t think I can praise Tom Bales enough for his Role as Frederic’s love Mabel, he was so elegant and so lady like that you almost forgot he was a guy in a dress, he also, just like Richardson had, hit the high notes that I saw mouths drop to the floor. Towards the end Bales seemed to get a bit quieter while singing, but you couldn’t blame him.
Dominic Harbison, Connor Hughes, Same Kipling and Richard Russell Edwards portrayed Mabels 4 sisters, neither of whom looked feminine but did well to try and glide across the stage with dignity and as feminine as possible, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house when they 4 sister turned up, the comedy timing was spot on.
The Director (Sasha Regan) and Choreographer (Lizzie Gee), have put together a show that has left people of my generation wanting to see again and again. With Gilbert and Sullivan being popular with the older generation, it’s nice to see a completely different revival which people born late 80’s, early 90’s would want to see.
This show is one of a kind, its a classic but with this new lease of life, it’s also new and reaching out to a different audience. With a cast of 18 it’s not a small production but yet not one actor was bad. They stuck together, they bounced of each other and the whole thing just worked.
Everyone came out the theatre with smiles on their faces talking about how amazing they thought it was. I do belive I over heard a couple saying they had already booked more tickets!
Pirates of Penzance is on at Wiltons Music Hall until the 16th March 2019.