COME AND SING
– THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE
Trinity Methodist Church
Distinctly unamused, flanked by the Union Flag and the Skull and Crossbones, Queen
Victoria averted her eyes from the Cornish capers going on beneath her.
Trinity, long renowned for their G&S, had invited all comers to sing the Pirates from scratch. A chorus of over fifty, responding to the firm encouragement of MD Felicity Wright, sounded wonderful, every syllable clearly enunciated. The hymn to Poetry was one of the most potent I've heard.
A talented team of soloists made this semi-staged performance – back projection, costumes by Tony Brett - hugely enjoyable.
Doyen of the patter roles Ken Rolf was the model of a modern Major General, Janet Moore was Ruth, Michael Wilson the unhappy Police Sergeant. Adam Sullivan, steeped, despite his tender years, in the Savoyard tradition, played the Pirate King, with Emma Byatt as his fresh-faced Lieutenant. The young Frederick was Richard Rossetti, with Beverley Lockyer his excellent Mabel.
The Paignton première in 1879 was a slapdash affair, with a few random costumes and everyone clutching scores. 130 years on, Trinity were much better organised, making the most of limited rehearsal time, and transforming the church into rocky shore and ruined chapel. Simon Harvey's piano was covered in lanterns for the burglars and tankards for the pirate sherry.