HMS Pinafore

Date 9th November 2013
Society Battle Amateur Theatrical Society
Venue Battle Memorial Hall
Type of Production G & S
Director Judy Welsh
Musical Director Duncan Reid
Choreographer Judy Welsh


Author: Anne Lawson

Aka ‘The Lass That Loved a Sailor’ fourth G & S comic opera first performed in 1878 tells of Captain Corcoran’s Daughter Josephine in love with lower class sailor Ralph Rackstraw.  However, Father intends her to marry First Lord of the Admiralty Sir Joseph Porter much to her distress.  The couple decide to elope but this plan is foiled when Dick Deadeye tells all.  Baby farmer of long ago, bumboat woman Little Buttercup, discloses a secret that she mixed  high and low class infants thus Ralph is high and Corcoran is low! The couple are free to marry, the Captain can marry Buttercup and Sir Porter settles on Cousin Hebe and all are happy ever after. Good sound from the orchestra directed by Duncan Reid, an excellent deck of HMS Pinafore from Dickie Diamond painted beautifully by Cassie Dewing and Emma McGrath. Judy took on dual roles of director and choreographer using her limited space well and with simple movements the action flowed, with some comedy coming through.  Imogen Willetts shone as Josephine with her diction faultless, supported well by a sound Kenny Giles as Ralph with solid performances from Adrian Collins as the Captain and Charlotte Collins Hebe together with strong contralto Carolyn Bruce as Little Buttercup. I enjoyed Boatswain, Richard Foster’s tenor rendering of ‘He is an English Gentleman’. Good quality chorus harmonies with a rousing opening from the crew. With colourful costumes, smart uniforms, very good wigs and hairstyles, particularly Josephine, reminding me of a young Queen Victoria, this was a jolly, foot tapping matinee experience. The well designed A4 programme with just that little bit extra has been put forward as a programme competition entry.