The Pirates of Penzance-Rebooted, performed at the intimate Barn Theatre in Southwick, brings a classic pirate tale to life with a contemporary twist. This show tells the tale of a colourful crew of sub-par pirates who are saddened to see one their own departing from buccaneer life and scheme to find a way to drag him back in.
The show is filled with jokes that range from pun and wit to pure slapstick
The theatre in the round staging is fun and entertaining, setting the scenes within a pirate ship. The cast’s engagement with the audience prior to the show maintains the illusion of a working vessel. This immediately sets the playful tone upon which the performance relies. The show is filled with jokes that range from pun and wit to pure slapstick - every one of which hit the mark. The performers were precise, the singing and acting were impressively on point.
City Theatre Company has reimagined this otherwise operatic score, instead backing it with popular tracks. These come as fun surprises throughout the performance, especially when you hear original G&S lyrics sung to the tune of ‘Sweet Child of Mine’, for instance. This did, however, make some points harder to follow and minor sound errors confused the narrative.
Each of the show’s two acts roll along with plenty of laughs, eccentric outfits and high quality entertainment. The relaxed yet wacky nature of the performance created a palpable energy, encouraging us to play along as pirates - even offering a programme that doubled up as a pirate hat. The Pirates of Penzance-Rebooted is a charming production that really captures the madness of the Fringe - a fitting beginning.