H.M.S. Pinafore. Music by Arthur Sullivan. Libretto by W.S. Gilbert. Hayes Theatre Co, presented by Siren Theatre Co, at The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, February 25-29, 2020.
Reviewed by Frank McKone
Director – Kate Gaul; Musical Director – Zara Stanton; Choreographer – Ash Bee; Production Designer – Melanie Liertz; Lighting Designer – Fausto Brusamolino; Sound Designer – Nate Edmondson
Katherine Allen, Gavin Brown, Thomas Campbell, Jermaine Chau, Tobias Cole, Sean Hall, Billie Palin, Bobbi-Jean Henning, Dominic Lui, Roey O’Keefe, Zachary Selmes, Zara Stanton
|Buttercup - one-time wetnurse to Ralph and Capt Corcoran - |
sells provisions to the sailors as the play begins.
|Capt Corcoran at sixes and sevens at the beginning of Act Two|
(the balls represent cannonballs in the original)
Fair moon, to thee I sing,
Bright regent of the heavens,
Say, why is everything
Either at sixes or at sevens?
In this summer of turmoil, of drought, fire, flooding rains, coal mining to reduce CO2 emissions, politically motivated sports-rorts grants and now coronavirus, all overseen by our equivalent of Sir Joseph Porter in the guise of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, I felt quite in tune with the Captain’s confusion. As Sir Joseph sings
|Sir Joseph Porter secluded in his cabin.|
The ruler of the Queen’s Navee…
But when the breezes blow,
I generally go below,
And seek the seclusion that a cabin[et] grants…
From holiday in Hawaii to ‘cabinet-in-confidence’, our world is in more than sixes and sevens. A mad-cap production of H.M.S. Pinafore was just what I needed.
"For he is an Englishman!"
Political correctness has caught me by the balls, so to speak: the non-profit left-wing communal basis of the Hayes Theatre Company has meant that I can find the names of the cast only in alphabetical order, without reference to who plays which parts. But since, as Sir Joseph, Captain Corcoran and all the crew agree
|Dick Deadeye calling for rebellion against the upper classes|
A British tar is a soaring soul,
As free as a mountain bird,
His energetic fist should be ready to resist
A dictatorial word…
He never should bow down to a domineering frown,
Or the tang of a tyrant tongue.
|Ordinary Seaman Ralph Rackstraw declares his love for Josephine, Capt Corcoran's daughter|
Buttercup - Thomas Campbell
Capt Corcoran - Tobias Cole
Sir Joseph Porter - Josef Ber
Josephine- Hannah Greenshields
Violin - Dominic Lui
Ralph Rackstraw - Billie Palin
Music Director - Zara Stanton
Dick Dead Eye - Sean Hall
Ensemble - Bobbie Jean Henning, Elora Ledferm, Gavin Brown, Zachary Selmes