Set on the coast of Cornwall, at the time of Queen Victoria’s reign, 'The Pirates of Penzance' play and party as Frederic (a pirate apprentice) reminds the Pirate King that his obligation to the gang is soon over. He was apprenticed to the pirates only until his twenty-first birthday, which is that day, and he is leaving them. The hard of hearing Ruth (Frederic’s nursery maid when he was younger) explains that Frederic should never have been a pirate except for her mistake: she was told to apprentice Frederic to a pilot!
Frederic tells the pirates that, after he leaves the gang, he intends to destroy them, not because he doesn’t love them, but because he loathes what they do. He is a slave of duty and, when no longer a pirate, it will be his duty to inform the authorities about them. The pirates understand but wonder if Frederic can explain why they don’t make any money - their major problem is being compassionate pirates. They themselves claim to be orphans and therefore sympathise with orphans by releasing the orphans on the ships they capture and their treasure with it. Frederic notes that the word has gotten around and every ship they capture claims to have a crew of orphans as a result.
Frederic has spent his entire life with the pirates, he has never seen another woman; thus he thinks he may want to take Ruth with him as his wife. At this point, however, Frederic hears a chorus of girls in the vicinity. He sees a group of beautiful young women, realises he was betrayed by Ruth, and rejects her. Frederic informs the girls that he is a pirate, but not for long. He asks if any of the girls will marry him, and the youngest, Mabel, agrees. The pirates enter the scene, and each grabs a girl. Major-General Stanley enters and identifies himself as the girls’ father. Knowing about the pirates’ weakness, Major-General Stanley tells them he is an orphan and, thus, disarms the pirates and takes his daughters, along with Frederic, away to his family chapel and estate. The major-general, who actually is not an orphan, soon feels guilty about the lie he told the pirates.
Frederic has a plan to lead a squad of zany policemen against the Pirates. Before he can act however, in typical Gilbert & Sullivan style, chaos ensues. With an unexpected twist and a good deal of swashbuckling the Pirates and police take each other on in a battle. When the battle finishes Ruth declares allegiance to Queen Victoria followed by the pirates and police alike. This oath reveals to the police that the pirates are not true pirates and are loyal to Britain. By betraying piracy, the pirates are placed at the control of the police. Before being arrested the pirates reveal that they are not orphans but rather noblemen who have gone bad. They renounce piracy and wedding of Frederic and Mabel finally goes ahead. A happy ending for all!
NODA show review available here!
Our 2012 Cast is:
Pirate King - Ross Miller
Frederic - Sandy Bain
Samuel - Heather Hilditch
Ruth - Christina McCall
Mabel- Megan Rough
Isobel - Anna McEwan
Kate - Hannah Ritchie
Edith - Anna Johnston
Major General Stanley - Cameron Wright
Sergeant of Police - Alexander Gavin
Musical Director...Eddie MacLennan