Reviewed by Kerry Cooper
This comic opera takes place on board the ship H.M.S Pinafore. The captain’s daughter has fallen for a lower class sailor and is determined to disobey her father’s wishes to marry a lord. A tale that pokes fun at the navy, party politics and the social class system in general, director Peter Hopkins faced many challenges mounting this semi-staged production. The orchestra were seated on stage, which left little room for grand musical numbers; however this did not seem to bother a very enthusiastic audience who were appreciative of the talented musicians and players.
With minimal set pieces and a mast floating upstage it was clear the action was centred on the ship. Gilbert and Sullivan provided a generation with entertainment filled with silliness and mirth. Some may say that it is dated and although the humour is simple, the purists still find joy in this genre.
Main players were strong, none more so than Captain Corcoran stoically brought to life by Andrew Crispe; his portrayal was solid and oozed charm. His opening number with the chorus was sublime. Sarah Jane Pattichis as the captain’s daughter demonstrated her experience with strong vocals as did the majority of the cast.
This is only one of three comic operas G&S are staging over 10 nights, it is an ambitious undertaking, but perhaps attention to detail is lacking, with musical numbers being performed in such compact surroundings and the orchestra and chorus upstage behind set pieces you feel as though the show never reaches its potential.