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Sunday, 13 June 2010

The Pirates of Penzance at Kingston's Rose Theatre

All male production of The Pirates of Penzance! I was excited. (I have always had a bit of a thing for a man in make-up.)

This show, at the Rose Theatre, was recommended to me by several friends, so I was grateful to get tickets for the final night. I went along, wearing my appropriate McQueen skull scarf especially for the occasion. It is the Gilbert and Sullivan classic with a sexy twist. I don't mean to be vulgar, but it really was a feast of men. The operetta began with a short and sweet introduction on the piano from Musical Director, Chris Mundy who then continued to accompany the whole show. Seventeen men bounded onto the stage with contagious energy.

Gilbert & Sullivan isn't always my favourite, but this show was absolutely genius. It worked so well with the all male cast that I began to question if it had originally been written for just men, and why any company would choose to include women. It was, of course also the fantastic acting that made each pun so thrillingly funny.

The choreographer, Lizzi Gee had an important role in this production with numerous dance numbers throughout. Her vision was spot on, and I was surprised to see how polished the routines were, every man seemed completely confident with the complicated steps. Special mention is due to Alan Richardson, who played the shrill-voiced Mabel, he did a masterful job hitting all the top notes and still acting with convincing authority.

The Rose Theatre is a gem in the centre of Kingston Upon Thames. Under the leadership of Artistic Director, Stephen Unwin and Director Emeritus, Peter Hall, the standard of work at this theatre is quite astounding. It only opened in January 2008 and I feel it is my duty to raise awareness about this theatre, whose shows are often more exciting than those in London's West End. The theatre space is intimate and friendly with a small pit area for some audience members. These tickets are more affordable and perfect for students trying to save money.

You have missed out on the Pirates but with lots of great shows coming up check out Kingston's Rose Theatre yourself.

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