Frederick, apprenticed to the Pirates since a child, learns that he was born in a leap year on 29th February, and that he is contracted to the Pirate King not until his 21st year but his 21st BIRTHDAY. With only the inept Penzance constabulary to protect him, will he be forced into a life of piracy until he is 84? And will his sweetheart, Mabel, wait for him that long?
Performed by a 6-strong cast of actor/singers with specially-orchestrated jauntily-nautical accompaniment, The Pirates of Penzance gets the complete Illyria treatment. Despite the reduction in scale not a single word from WS Gilbert's libretto is cut, nor a single note or harmony from Sir Arthur Sullivan's score unsung.
With tongue-in-cheek melodrama, sharp satire and glittering wit, The Pirates of Penzance is as fresh as if it had been written today. It is packed-full of memorable songs such as "To be a Pirate King!"; "Modern Major General" and "A Policeman's Lot is Not a Happy One”.
For 30 years Illyria has dominated the open-air touring theatre sector. Illyria burst onto the scene in 1992 when not only was there scarcely a scene to burst onto, but what scene there was entirely consisted of Shakespeare.
Since then Illyria alone has always been the first company to introduce new genres which subsequently became open-air theatre standards. In 1997 we were the first to offer children’s theatre. In 2000 we were the first to introduce classics other than Shakespeare. In 2003 were the first to offer a Jane Austen adaptation. In 2010 we were the first to be given the professional rights to Roald Dahl scripts. In 2011 were the first to do Gilbert and Sullivan. In 2017 we were the first to tour with a full-size T-rex in a monster-movie homage. In 2018 we were the first to perform a full-scale musical. In 2019 we were the first to offer a rock opera.
With a history of “firsts” behind us, Illyria has chosen to celebrate our 30th birthday by returning to 3 of our most successful ones. Our Shakespeare production will be the same as the one that kicked the whole thing off back in 1992: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. For our family show we will return to the first ever children’s show we toured: PETER PAN. For our Gilbert & Sullivan we are revisiting the perennially popular THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE.
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