Friday, July 24, 2009

Waylaid by Pirates

I did none of the things I intended to do last night because I'd received a DVD in the post and it was absolutely essential I watch it right then.

It goes like this: When I was very young my parents were very good to us, they took us to the D'oyly Carte to see various Gilbert and Sullivan light operas (the one that always stuck in my mind was Iolanthe). In the mid-80s the Teacher and I experienced the new production of G&S's Pirates of Penzance at the newly re-opened Opera House in Manchester.

It starred Paul Nicholas and Bonnie Langford - it was completely outrageous and brilliant. We went to see it four times including the last night of the extended tour when all hell broke loose on stage. A few years later we caught a film adaptation of the US staging which featured Kevin Klein as the Pirate King.

So last week I bought it.

Except I didn't. What I got was a recording of the stage version performed in Central Park but still with Kevin Klein as the Pirate King. It's a bit ropey being a transcription from fairly poor quality video. But it's exactly the same staging as we saw at the Opera House and the American accents aren't too obtrusive. (Oh and it's got Patricia Routledge in it as Ruth - bet you didn't know she could sing.)

So we watched it - me, the Daughter and the Boy. Both loved it, the Daughter appreciated the slightly more ironic humour of the lyrics, the Boy enjoyed the knock-about humour of the staging (but being musical he really appreciated the songs).

(The Teacher was at her school's end-of-term dinner.)

From a story viewpoint - as a writer don't you find you cannot help analysing? - it's brilliant, the core dilemma is introduced immediately after the first song. From there complications ensue.

What's on the turntable? I'm humming "With Cat-like Tread" to myself

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