HMS Pinafore

Saturday night saw me, with my Gilbert and Sullivan chum, Bernie, enjoying a spot of G&S. This years Manchester University Gilbert and Sullivan's (MUGSS) offering was HMS Pinafore. Whilst I love almost all of G&S operettas Pinafore isn't at the top of my list - the top spots would have to belong to The Sorcerer, Ruddigore, Iolanthe, the Mikado and Pirates of Penzance - but Pinafore is definitely worth seeing and a MUGSS production is always a treat.

Saturday night's production was no exception. The performances were hugely energetic and cleverly directed. My only criticisms would be that the director messed around with the script a bit too much and added some music from other operas - The Sorcerer appeared at one point in the performance which was slightly disconcerting. However, on the plus side, the new lyrics were cleverly written and appropriate.

The audience - made up, I suspect of many friends and family - was hugely appreciative and the cast got many, well deserved, spontaneous rounds of applause. Buttercup had a wonderful voice and I loved Sir Joseph, the First Lord of the Admrality. The final scenes where Buttercup confesses her mix up whilst "baby farming" were funny and Ralph Rackstraw and Captain Corcoran come back onto the stage dressed  in each other clothes and declared their love for Jospehine and Buttercup. Poor old Sir Joseph settles for marrying Cousin Hebe, one of the large bevy of female followers.

The production made much of the disparities in rank between the main characters and the ridiculous nature of people rising to positions of authority without talent or experience. The cast of sisters, cousins and aunts was excellent and highly comical. One of my few complaints would be that, at times, there was just too much going on on stage and it was difficult to follow the action because of this.

I love Gilbert and Sullivan - a world where right always prevails, the man gets his girl, everyone's happy and the music is wonderful. What more could you want from an evening's entertainment.