THERE was plenty of treasure to be found as Monmouth Music Theatre’s production of The Pirates of Penzance made a big splash at the town’s Savoy Theatre.
The 35-year-old company set sail for four nights in Gilbert and Sullivan’s rollocking Victorian comic opera of piracy, paradox and police (in)competence.
Young Frederic (played by director Adrian Bevan) got into all sorts of hilarious scrapes when his love for Mabel (played by Holly Thody) clashed with his sense of duty to serve another 63 years splicing the main sail aboard pirate ship Tarantula.
Starring as the scheming pirate captain was Meriwether Maturin, alongside Helen Keefe as inebriated first mate Samuel, Katie Ellis as infatuated former nursemaid Ruth, Philip Chant as the sergeant of the Cornish Police, Chris Godwin as Mabel’s father, the major general, and Keri Russell and Sheryl Westoby as sisters Edith and Kate.
And everything was kept shipshape by musical director Ruth Friend, accompanist and repetiteur Helen Stidolph, stage manager Adam Wells and the rest of the crew.
Audience members showered praise on the production, hailing it as “amazing”, “brilliant”, “wonderful” and “outstanding”.
One said: “An utterly engaging performance... spellbinding, fabulous, funny and a joy to watch.”
Another added: “Stunning show tonight. The grand finale was terrific. Thoroughly enjoyed the music. Great singing and acting. Congratulations to all.”
One said: “It was flipping fantastic! Really enjoyed the show. Cast is amazing!”
And another posted: “Just wanted to say how brilliant the production was! Absolutely wonderful from start to finish!”
It represents another triumph for MMT, who performed hit West End and Broadway musical Evita earlier this year.
Originally founded as Monmouth Operatic Society, MMT has performed numerous shows, including its award-winning Sound of Music in 2022, Oklahoma, Calamity Jane, Annie Get Your Gun, My Fair Lady and Me & My Girl.