I went to see GMS’s production of “The Pirates of Penzance” last weekend and enjoyed every minute of it. This is a modern adaptation that allows the Pirate King and Frederic to be more swashbuckling and for the comedy to be extended upon, especially in the more well known numbers such as “I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major-General” and “With Cat-Like Tread”, the latter of which can run for a few encores depending on the enthusiasm of the audience. The record for this GMS version is currently 8! It also allows for the cast, particularly the Pirate King, to break the fourth wall and interact with the conductor, the audience and, at one point, the biobox, which always gets laughs.
Director Daryl Davis (Frederic in the 1989 GMS motorbike gang version) assembled a talented cast including Chris Martin as The Pirate King, Gareth Isaac (in his first major GMS lead) as Frederic, Marc Calwell as Major-General Stanley, Tiana Young as Mabel, Kerrie Rochford as Ruth, Anthony George as the Sergeant of Police and Daniel Travers as Samuel. Chris, Gareth, Daniel and Anthony relished their comedic song and dance routines putting a lot of fun and energy into them, Marc clearly enjoyed being able to expand on his previous interpretation as the M-G with more comic lines and adhoc quips, Kerrie had wonderful timing and comedic pathos and Tiana has a most amazing voice. She is apparently able to sing a range of over three and a half octaves and in six different languages. All of the rest of the cast – the Pirates, the Daughters of the Major-General and the Police Women of Penzance (complete with big blonde wigs) had fun with their roles and that was picked up by the audience who laughed and clapped along all of the way.
Pirates was the inaugural production of the original company, Gosford Musical and Dramatic Socety, so it was a nice symmetrical touch that GMS Patron, Kevin Booth, who was involved in that 1948 version, had a cameo role as footman to Queen Victoria (who was played by Kevin’s wife, Nancye).
With sellout houses and standing ovations, GMS have another huge hit!
(Image courtesy of GMS publicity. Please click on flyer to view full size.)