A pirate’s life for me by Alessia Belsito-Riera
Ahh, what could be more lovely than the British seaside in its heyday? Picture the sunhats and knotted neckties, the rolled-up trousers, the civility, the tea probably, and the biting cold because Britain is not a country where one should go to the seaside.
Nevertheless, here we are, in Penzance, with a band of pirates. Well, we’re technically in the theatre with Wellington Comic Opera’s (WCO) presentation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates! also known as The Pirates of Penzance.
The WCO, with director Alison Hodge and musical director Michael Vinten, is excited to restage dramatist W.S. Gilbert’s satire and composer Arthur Sullivan’s catchy songs into a more contemporary setting, veering away from the Edwardian era and steering headlong into the mid-20th century’s vitality, zest, and torturous legal wranglings. Though benefiting from a sparkly refresh, Pirates! will retain the original spirit, wordplay and wit, tongue-twisting treasures, and endearing characters and showtunes.
Let’s return to that brisk seaside, shall we? The pirates are holding a beach party for Fredric, who has just completed his apprenticeship. All is well in the pirate’s life until a group of young women rain on the parade and Fredric, to his compatriots’ dismay, falls for Mabel. What ensues is a light-hearted adventure full of swagger, charm, and bureaucracy.
Catch Pirates! at the Little Theatre in Lower Hutt on the 12th and 17th of May, Te Raukura ki Kāpiti in Paraparaumu on the 13th, the Memorial Theatre in Wellington on the 19th, and Expressions in Upper Hutt on the 20th and 21st.