National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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Pirates of Penzance


16th November 2015


Haworth-West Lane Baptist Amateur Operatic Society


Haworth West Lane Baptist Church

Type of Production



Christine Ingham

Musical Director

Pam Dimbleby


Author: Judith Smith

~~Wow – a full house on opening night is practically unheard of and only a few tickets left for the rest of the week!  This society is very fortunate, despite only having quite a small theatre, to have such a following.  Mind you, if tonight’s performance was anything to go by, the audiences will not be disappointed.

First night is a trial for everyone and certainly there were a few times the stage and orchestra were not together.  I know Pirates very well, and quite a lot of wrong words were sung and the libretto, from some principals, wasn’t quite accurate but, most of the audience I am sure didn’t realise.  The lighting also needed a tweek, there were some very dark parts of the stage where chorus were standing and if characters stood on the rocks their faces were totally lost. 

However, this was a first ever production for Christine and she handled it with much aplomb, adding her own little touches to a basically true and traditional production.  There was some fine singing, particularly from Robert Driver (Frederic), Garry Colgan (Samuel)  and Ian Dobson (Sergeant of Police).  Some lovely, lively performances too, particularly from the smaller parts of Edith, Kate and Isabel and the Pirate King had everyone enthralled with his almost rubber legs!!.

The scenery (home-made by the Society) was excellent and full of imagination, particularly in Act I, but with a rather large chorus the scenery for Act II took up rather a lot of the acting area but the cast used every inch of space available.

Pirates has long been a favourite with G&S audiences and tonight’s production will continue that situation.  A very happy evening.