At the Zenith Theatre in Chatswood you will see the Mosman Musical Society perform their rendition of H.M.S. Pinafore. A Gilbert and Sullivan musical, this comic opera initially opened in London in 1878. The choice to bring this musical back to life is quite fitting as the Mosman Musical Society claims to be Australia’s oldest musical society (established in 1903). This being said, the production is modernised for a more contemporary audience. The most obvious amendments are found in the opening musical number which salutes the popular musicals that came after H.M.S. Pinafore.
The tale of H.M.S. Pinafore explores social class struggles and the boundaries of love. Aboard the ship, Captain Corcoran’s daughter, Josephine, is in love with a lower-class sailor, Ralph Rackshaw. The Captain cannot accept the romantic pairing, however, in true Gilbert and Sullivan style, a surprise reveal changes everything. As well as poking fun at class, the musical draws attention to patriotism (with many British flags flying around on stage) and authority (particularly in the naval ranks). H.M.S. Pinafore’s modern performance shows how much society has changed, yet in many ways, how it has stayed the same.
H.M.S. Pinafore boasts some amazing opera voices, larger than life characters and some cute little kids that are already showing a promising career in theatre. More importantly, it is quite apparent that the cast have a love for the stage. Their commitment to the production is evident and beams through their stage performances. A special mention, to the stars that are almost always forgotten, is the orchestra. These musicians were faultless, while also adding their own comic flair to the show (arranged and orchestrated by Jim Coyle).
The most striking feature of the Mosman Musical Society’s rendition of H.M.S. Pinafore is the noticeable age range of the cast. It just goes to show you, you’re never too young to get up on stage to perform in a 133 year-old musical.
Mosman Musical Society presents
Book and Lyrics by W.S. Gilbert and Music by Arthur Sullivan
Arranged and Orchestrated by Jim Coyle
Directed by Jody Rose
Venue: Zenith Theatre, Cnr Railway & McIntosh Streets, Chatswood
Dates: 22 - 30 July, 2011
Tickets: $35 – $29
Bookings: 9777 7547 | www.zeniththeatre.com.au