HMS Pinafore ready to set sail and cast anchor in The Regent
The Gilbert and Sullivan comedic musical masterpiece HMS Pinafore is preparing to dock in Palmerston North.
Produced by Ben McDonald who has staged classics including The Pirates of Penzance, Buddy and South Pacific in the past year, HMS Pinafore is directed by Geraldine Brophy and will feature a fine cast of entertainers, including respected theatre veteran George Henare as Sir Joseph Porter and Helen Medlyn (as Buttercup).
A satirical tale of forbidden love and shocking revelations of class and identity, HMS Pinafore is one of the most enduringly popular of Gilbert and Sullivan’s great comic creations, with songs including Little Buttercup and He is an Englishman.
Set aboard the ship HMS Pinafore, the captain’s daughter, Josephine, is in love with a lowerclass sailor, Ralph Rackstraw, despite her father wanting her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty.
She abides by her father’s wishes at first, but Sir Joseph’s advocacy of the equality of humankind encourages Ralph and Josephine to overturn conventional social order. They declare their love for each other and eventually plan to elope.
The captain discovers this plan, but, as in many of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, a surprise disclosure changes things dramatically near the end of the story.
Drawing on several of his earlier ‘‘Bab Ballad’’ poems, Gilbert imbued this plot with mirth and silliness. The show’s humour focuses on love between members of different social classes and lampoons the British class system in general.
HMSPinafore also pokes goodnatured fun at patriotism, party politics, the Royal Navy, and the rise of unqualified people to positions of authority.
The title of the piece comically applies the name of a garment for girls and women, a pinafore, to the fearsome symbol of a naval warship.
HMS Pinafore is staged at the Regent on Broadway on Friday, April 22, from 7-9.30pm.
Tickets from $79.90, book at Ticket-Direct.
George Henare plays Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty.