9 May 2010

Pirates Rule

Gilbert and Sullivan still rock.

"Who's Gilbert and - " Master 13 asked after came out from a performance of Pirates of Penzance.

"They're the people what wrote it," I told him.

He didn't seem impressed, but it's hard to tell with a thirteen year old.

The kids had been sold the idea of going to a musical by the idea of a bunch of pirates who never attack anyone weaker than themselves, and never harm an orphan. Oddly, there seems to be a lot of orphans in the British navy. I think the kids enjoyed it - They certainly didn't protest. Other kids in the audience came dressed as pirates, and while the curtains were down and the overtures were playing, all the kids were drawn to the orchestra pit. It must have looked funny to the musicians looking up to see this ring of faces peering down at them.

The production I saw yesterday was an amateur one by Savoy Opera. They don't have a DVD so I've linked to this one instead. There are lots of them, but I chose this one because years ago I enjoyed seeing Simon Gallagher and Jon English with, I think from my admittedly faulty memory, Marina Prior as Mabel. Marina Prior was popular at the time and also appeared as Guinevere in Camelot, so I may have become muddled. She's not listed on this DVD, but I'm sure it's a good one anyway. I wonder if it's a post Pirates of the Caribbean
production. You can tell if it is because the Pirate King became modeled on the Johnny Depp character.

There's something about a live performance - my Saner Half calls it the empathy factor - that you don't get from a recording, which is exactly why we took the kids for their first G&S. Even a ten year old can like it.

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