Theatre review: The Pirates of Penzance at the King’s Head Theatre

12:01 20 September 2012

John Savournin as The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance

John Savournin as The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance

Bill Knight

Brilliant comic timing and a strong cast breathe new life into Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic opera at the King’s Head Theatre

»Many opera-fans eschew fringe performances in favour of the world-renowned singers and incredible orchestras of grander opera houses. But Charles Court Opera’s thrilling revival of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic masterpiece The Pirates of Penzance is not to be missed, particularly for fans of the genre.

The cast of nine are universally fantastic and all sing well. Ian Jervis as General Stanley delivers the showpiece Modern Major-General song with predictable aplomb while the constant gurning of Matthew Kellet’s pirate lieutenant cranks the silliness up a notch or two.

But it’s the trio of Alexandra Hutton, Nichola Jolly and Charlotte Baptie as General Stanley’s daughters who steal the show. As a group they all have a wonderful sense of comic timing. The scene where two of the daughters eavesdrop on their sister and pretend to talk about the weather is brilliantly executed and very funny.

Being close enough to see the facial expressions of all of the performers really adds to the production and delivers a level of intimacy you simply cannot get atlarger venues. The cast are self-evidently enjoying themselves and there’s no doubt that some of them are destined for greater things in the future.

Running at a shade under two hours including an interval, it’s a perfect antidote to post-Olympic blues. Daft, delightful and utterly brilliant, it’s the most fun I’ve had at the theatre all year. Showing at the King’s Head until 29th September this wonderful production deserves to sell out every night.

David Ladds

* The Pirates of Penzance plays the King’s Head Theatre until September 29. Box office 020 7478 0160.

Latest Stories

20 minutes ago
the 'fire ants' were first found in this country when a colony of 35,000 were electrocuted gnawing through wires at a National Trust property in Gloucestershire [Photo courtesy of April Nobile / © AntWeb.org]

Hate creepy-crawlies? Then look away now! There are fears that ‘super ants’ who are attracted to electricity and cause fires are coming to London, after a colony was found in a house in Hendon.

Read more
The boy was killed after a collision in St John Fisher Road, near the junction with Kale Road (Picture: Google StreetView)

A six-year-old boy died after being hit by a car in south east London as he walked along the road with his mum yesterday evening.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:50
The most sureal moment at the Commonwealth Opening Ceremony was the sight of some giant dancing Tunnocks tea cakes (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Did you watch the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony last night? It made us misty-eyed for London 2012, when the whole world was watching our city, so we decided to compare Glasgow 2014 to Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony. Be prepared for a blast from the past!

Read more

Top Stories

Promotions

Renault Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

Always wanted to create your own beer? Perfect Pint are giving you the chance.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

The Week subscription offer

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
How much about this great city do you really know? Take our true Londoner quiz and find out (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Do you know your apples from your pears? Take our Cockney quiz and see how much of a Londoner you really are.

Read more
Guess the manager quiz. Here's a hint, it's not these four.

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
A normal day at London Liverpool Street station

This quiz is for people who think they know the Tube and rail inside out.

Read more