The Pirates of Penzance
May 13, 14, 15, 1999
Confederation Centre Main Stage, Charlottetown
Written by: W.S. Gilbert (libretto) and Arthur Sullivan (music)
Director: Terry Pratt
Music Director: Owen Aylward
Producer: Rob Thomson
Stage Manager: Wallena Higgins
Mabel: Claire Caseley Smith
Frederic: Sean Clement
Pirate King: Ben Kinder
Major-General Stanley: David McMullen
Ruth: Juliana Elzinga
Sergeant of Police: René Hurtubise
The show had a cast and chorus of 42 persons, plus a pit orchestra of 19.
Pirates is one of the most popular and enduring G&S comic operas. Of course it has the typical absurdity … Young Frederic was apprenticed to a band of tender-hearted pirates — because his nurse mis-heard the instruction to sign him up for a ‘pilot’. He is bound by contract until he reaches his 21st birthday. He is now released, free to pursue a law-abiding life, and his new-found love of Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley (“I am the very model of a modern major-general”). But no! It emerges that Frederic was born on the 29th of February, and so has a birthday only once each leap year — meaning that he must serve for another 63 years! … and his sense of duty leads him to return to the pirate life. A farcical battle between the pirates and the police, overwhelming loyalty to Queen Victoria, and a startling revelation lead to a happy ending.
Director Terry Pratt adapted things to be set on PEI.
A bonus: doing a banquet appearance for a convention of the Motion Picture Theatre Association of Canada earned ACT an extra $4000.