Review: HMS Pinafore, a Concert Performance by Tarantara Productions.

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I must confess to only a passing acquaintance with the works of Gilbert & Sullivan. However after last night’s performance that is going to change.

HMS Pinafore (or the Lass that Loved a Sailor) is an international success, first performed on May 25th 1878; its satirical mocking of unqualified persons in positions of authority and the British class system still relevant and fresh today. W S Gilbert‘s witty word play combined with Sir Arthur Sullivan’s memorable, musical, melodies keep the audience engaged and thoroughly entertained. The duo penned fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896 and HMS Pinafore is one of the most well-known.


The Concept

The Captain and crew of the HMS Pinafore confront class stereotypes when one of the crew confesses his love of the Captains daughter. A lady promised to one of a more suitable station.


The Successes

This was a concert performance rather than a full stage production, seeing the 26-piece orchestra centre stage, whilst the performers sang around them was an absolute delight and the players themselves appeared to revel in the spotlight.


Despite having no set and simplistic costumes, the whole performance conveyed real stage presence. Props and peacock plumes were not needed at all.

The Setbacks

For well over 100 years Gilbert & Sullivan have enjoyed incredible popularity, whole festivals have been devoted to their works, so I was disappointed to discover that I was the youngest in the audience by quite a margin and that there were far too many seats.

Established in 2014, Tarantara Productions was created to perform concert and full stage productions of all G&S Operettas.  On their first tour, the company also aims to promote and build audiences of the future. I wish them every success with this venture. I’m now a G&S convert. If you’ve yet to experience the full force of G&S you’ve another opportunity to see this truly entertaining concert at The Buxton Opera House on Saturday 6 February 2.30pm & 7.30pm

  • Lady Sky
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