Parson's Pirates

Friday evening was spent at The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal enjoying a fabulous performance of Parson's Pirates by Opera della Luna. The Parson's Pirates was played to a packed auditorium and, in spite of the thoroughly uncomfortable seats, a great time was had by all.

The Parson's Pirates is a play within a play with the vicar spending the first act selecting his cast for the performance of The Pirates of Penzance. The second act - which lasted almost one and a half hours - was a condensed performance of Pirates. With a cast of only six they managed a wonderfully spirited and witty performance. Goodness knows how they managed such a fantastic performance with only six singers.

The Parson’s Pirates is one of the key items in the Opera della Luna repertoire. It is set in the parish hall of St Michael’s Under Ware, where the vicar, the Reverend Arthur Bender, is putting on The Pirates of Penzance to raise money for church funds. His cast consists of the two church-wardens, Mr Prickett and Mr Prendergast; Tracy, a punkish girl who does amazing things with chewing gum; an un-named local youth who is recruited to play Frederic; and Mrs Goodbody, a lady who is into alternative spirituality and dabbles in Tarot cards and tantric therapies.

During the first half there is audience participation with the church wardens conducting the audience as they join in a performance of On a Tree by a Willow from The Mikado. There were a few shocked gasps form the audience as they realised the significance of the chorus - tit willow, tit willow, tit willow!! This is Kendal after all!

A wonderful evening and definitely a performance I would l would love to see again. I've just discovered there's a performance in Buxton on 7th June.....