Sasha Regan’s pirates and their winsome lasses sail into the Palace Theatre on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th December at 7:00pm with their inventive new take on W. S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan’s classic operetta THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE.
The show will lift everyone’s spirits with a festive treat in their new West End pirates’ cove. Packed with comedy, romance, clumsy policemen, bonkers adventures and an abundance of men in petticoats, it’s just the tonic to put an end to lockdown gloom.
Featuring a dazzling shipshape cast singing songs including: “I Am A Pirate King”, “Oh, Happy Day, With Joyous Glee” and “A Rollicking Band of Pirates We”. They are sure to raise the roof!
THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE sees one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s best-known, much loved classic operettas run in a theatre founded by Richard D’Oyly Carte in the 1800s as the Royal English Opera House. Carte who was already producing comic operas at his Savoy Theatre, decided to commission the Opera House as a home for grand operas. The Royal English Opera House opened 10 years after the Savoy Theatre which championed Gilbert & Sullivan’s well-known “Savoy operas”. Although their operettas never ran at the Royal English Opera House, it opened in January 1891 with Sir Arthur Sullivan’s ‘Ivanhoe’. Sadly, Carte’s cherished opera house came under financial pressure leaving him with no alternative but to lease it and eventually sell it within one year of opening.
Throughout his life, Carte managed Gilbert & Sullivan and nurtured their careers including setting up the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. Together these talented men introduced a new way of presenting light opera to families, touring these works to bring them out to the wider community.
Sasha Regan’s production was first staged at her original 50-seater Union Theatre in Southwark over a decade ago. From day one it became a critically acclaimed overnight hit, winning Best Off-West End production in the 2009 WhatsOnStage Awards. Following several sell-out runs in the UK, the merry band of pirates toured Australia including a month-long run at Cate Blanchett’s Sydney Theatre – a tremendous feat for a small Off West End company.
After performing at The Prince of Wales Theatre for the WhatsonStage Awards in 2010, Sasha Regan’s ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ transferred to Wilton’s Music Hall and then moved to The Rose Theatre, Kingston before completing a Number One tour of Australia. The All-Male Company also toured with ‘Iolanthe’ (Critics Choice & Time Out’s top 10 musicals of 2010) which transferred to Wilton’s Music Hall where its sell-out run broke their box office records. The All-Male ‘Mikado’ opened at the Theatre Royal, Bath, before touring to cities including Winchester, Edinburgh, London, Exeter and Salford in 2017 and next year the All-Male ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’ is set for another comeback tour which was postponed earlier this year due to Coronavirus.
Today, the theatre world is facing immense pressure due to Covid-19 which makes this small theatre company and their journey to the West End all the more remarkable.
Sasha explains: “Nimax Theatres are doing all they can to make our cast and audiences feel safe in this beautiful Gothic theatre. It’s been a long journey and we’ve taken over 10 years to get here, but the pirates are on their way to a theatre once owned by the man who discovered Gilbert & Sullivan. It will be a very special historic night on many levels.”
Expect plenty of onboard japes and jollies from the swashbuckling crew who are braving the high seas with rum, jacket potatoes and hand-sanitisers to bring you a socially-distanced, COVID-secure show.A joyous and much-needed escape for families and friends.