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
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
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
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