HMS PINAFORE sets sail for Bath as the Carl Rosa Company brings Gilbert and Sullivan’s musical delight to the Theatre Royal

Beverley Klein as Buttercup in HMS Pinafore, performed by Carl Rosa Opera (Photo Tristram Kenton)

Beverley Klein as Buttercup in HMS Pinafore, performed by Carl Rosa Opera (Photo Tristram Kenton)

First published in Theatre

ALL ABOARD as the acclaimed Carl Rosa Company brings its joyful staging of Gilbert and Sullivan’s hit comic opera, HMS PINAFORE to the Theatre Royal Bath from Monday, April 28 to Saturday, May 3. Romance and high spirits abound in this classic production, performed by Carl Rosa Opera’s superb cast, chorus and orchestra, directed by Peter Mulloy.

In this sparkling musical show, sailors, matters of social standing and secrets simmer in a scintillating story of star-crossed lovers and birth-swapped babies. The many memorable characters featured in HMS Pinafore include Sir Joseph Porter, the lovely Josephine, her father Captain Corcoran, love-struck Ralph Rackstraw and Buttercup.

A hilarious tale of love, double standards and mistaken identity unravels when the Captain’s daughter secretly falls in love with a common sailor. Pledged by her father to marry the head of the British Navy, Sir Joseph Porter, young Josephine finds herself hopelessly torn between love and duty. But a remarkable twist of fate changes all when a long-kept secret is let slip, somersaulting the heroes into a heady climax of fun, frivolity and fortune. Will Dick Deadeye scupper plans for a happy resolution? Will the truth be revealed after all? Will everyone be left all at sea without their hearts’ desire or will true love run its course?

Gaily tripping through the hypocrisies of the English class system, with characters that might have tumbled from a Dickens novel, HMS Pinafore is a tongue-in-cheek look at love between social classes in the nineteenth century, and the rise of under-qualified politicians to positions of authority.

Gilbert’s gift for comical lyrics and situations is brilliantly matched by the infectious joy of Sullivan’s witty, light-hearted musical numbers in this delightful, sea-faring show which features the much-loved songs, For He Is An Englishman, I’m Called Little Buttercup, I’m the Monarch of the Sea and When I Was A Lad.

Heading the impressive cast is the incomparable international opera singer Eric Roberts, who not only directed Carl Rosa's acclaimed production of The Mikado, but who has played KoKo, the Lord High executioner, all over the UK and on film. Equally known to loyal Gilbert and Sullivan audiences is the accomplished Savoyard Bruce Graham, who will be returning to the role of Dick Deadeye; Beverley Klein, who plays Little Buttercup; and Stephen Page who appears as Captain Corcoran.

Beautifully and imaginatively staged with exquisite period costumes, the Carl Rosa Company continues to present the works of WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan with authentic style and dazzling humour. Setting the action in 1805 after the death of Lord Nelson, Carl Rosa’s Artistic Director Peter Mulloy presents this glorious light opera in a production which acknowledges, in its design, Gilbert’s original plan to have Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory represented on stage.

For more details, visit www.theatreroyal.org.uk

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