The Pirates of Penzance
1st March 2019
Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham
Type of Production
Author: Peter Breach
It was most heartening to find such a large audience in attendance for this concert but since it was for a performance of one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s most popular comic operas and it was to be sung by the Grantham Singers, the size of the gathering was only to be expected!
An exceedingly competent cast of principals was selected for this show. It included Adam Bishop as Major-General Stanley who gave an excellent performance - his rendition of the “patter song” describing the extent of his knowledge was faultless, but will this Major-General put his acquired knowledge to good use? John Palmer as the Pirate King was under no illusions as to his way of life which he summarised superbly in his song “Pirate King”. John Sheppard, who played Sam, the King’s Lieutenant, had the patience to listen to young Frederic’s simple explanation as to why they had not been successful as pirates, even though it was blindingly obvious! Frederic the apprentice pirate (played by Stephen Blanchard) believing he had completed his training was now free to sever his connections with his shipmates and intended to work towards their destruction. Paul Connor, as the Sergeant of Police, delivered a fine comedic performance.
Pippa Stubs (as Mabel), Sarah Garner (as Edith) and Lisa Stevens (as Kate) played General Stanley’s daughters. When Frederic seeks someone to love, only Mabel offers herself. Paula Yeomans-Hill played Ruth - a Pirate Maid of all work, who despite having to put up with these rough pirates, was also responsible for making most of the costumes!
Female singers formed the Chorus of General Stanley’s daughters. Male singers formed the Chorus of Pirates and Police.
As well as producing and directing this show, Caroline Jones was also the Musical Director for it. Having had the privilege of being in the audience, may I thank Caroline for undertaking these tasks and thank all members of the Grantham Singers for delivering such wonderful entertainment.