Sasha Regan’s All-Male H.M.S. Pinafore ★★★★ Wilton's Music Hall | Mar 16 - Apr 9, 2022


H.M.S. Pinafore is one of the brightest stars in Gilbert and Sullivan's body of work and this new production respects and revivifies the original. Sasha Regan's all-male version is more than a gimmick. It takes Gilbert's gentle mockery of the English class system and exaggerated nationalism and adds a new target – gender bias and gender roles. The clever casting works beautifully and remains true to the classic work. Some lines take on a new comic meaning but this production never condescends or parodies the G & S masterpiece. Sasha Regan's direction is adroit and perfectly paced, while Lizzi Gee's ingenious choreography keeps the cast working and the audience delighted. The whole crew is strong and their exuberant energy is contagious. Juan Jackson does a fine job as the captain of the ship and Sam Kipling as his daughter, Josephine, stops the show with his amazing falsetto version of "The hours creep on apace." Indeed, all the falsetto singing is extraordinary and Scott Armstrong's Little Buttercup is hilarious. Danny Becker is a suitably smitten Ralph Rackstraw and Richard Russell Edwards is bound to catch the eye as Cousin Hebe. David McKechnie is a perfect Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B., and he beautifully enunciates the notoriously difficult "When I was a lad." Indeed, if we had one quibble with the show, it might be that some of Gilbert's libretto needs sharper articulation. Nevertheless, for a great evening's entertainment, join the crew on the H.M.S. Pinafore.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Mark Senior.

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