Pirates Of Penzance
Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Ahoy there! Set sail on crazy pirate ship

The production of the Pirates of Penzance, now on at the Churchill Theatre, is like a young cocker spaniel boisterous, naughty and full of infectious fun.

Absolutely loveable! When Gary Wilmot bursts onto the stage with his band of tender-hearted pirates and the widest cheeky grin, it's love at first sight.

The lads are known everywhere for letting all orphans go but have not stopped to noticed that, amazingly, every ship they capture is completely crewed by orphans Then there is Su Pollard, probably best known for her role in the TV classics, Hi De Hi and You Rang M'Lord. The tingle of recognition as she plays yet another woman who always manages to get the plot hopelessly wrong, makes you warm immediately to her character, Ruth.
The bird-brained Ruth manages to miss-hear her master's instructions and apprentices her young charge, Frederic, as a pirate instead of a pilot. She then further complicates matters by falling hopelessly in love with him.

And here's a little know fact Su sings rather well as she capably proves in her several solos. Joe Papp's exuberant update of the raucous Gilbert and Sullivan musical about pirates and policemen, romance and a modern Major General guarantees an evening of high-octane fun.

Note the bevy of sex-crazed, thoroughly modern maidens who relish the attentions of the big brawny pirates and swoon en-mass as Frederic changes, mid-song, from a lovelorn young man into the hip grinding Elvis. Then there is the timidly-inclined police sergeant who lapses into the campest of lisps. It's got to be seen to be believed.
But you'll have to listen very carefully because the witty lyrics occasionally get lost in the mayhem. This is certainly the most satisfying piece of pure entertainment you could possibly want to see, so book your ticket now.

Bucks Free Press 2001