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Pirates on the starting blocks


We had a great time with Princess Ida, but that was a different kind of show, in a different venue, and at a different time of year, so we’re both pleased and relieved to be back at Carnegie Hall next February with a full production – set, costumes and orchestra! As we announce on our Next Show page, our production of The Pirates of Penzance is in well-kent and experienced hands, and we have auditions coming up soon, so we expect to have announced our cast by the time we meet for our first rehearsal on 17 August.

If you are a member of our audience, all you have to do is make a note of the performance dates (16–18 February 2023). However, if you fancy being a pirate or policeman (or a member of Major-General Stanley’s extended family should you be a soprano or alto), now is the time to give us a try. Click the image to find out what’s involved and register your interest with the secretary, Ellen (moc.liamgnull@45kcirtap.nelle or 07969 436957).

Rend the air with wailing …


Not just the words being sung during this scene at the end of Act II, when the inhabitants of the ladies’ college at Castle Adamant realise that Hildebrand and his army have stormed their fortress, but also the feeling of the whole company now that the show is over. We had so much fun – all the customary dressing room banter and mutual support and encouragement that we’ve missed since 2020 were back at full strength – and, what is more, our audiences were delighted by a spectacular show. The flier offered “A dramatic concert staging”, and it did much more than that.

Some reactions:

  • “Huge congratulations to everyone involved in Princess Ida tonight. Great chorus singing and the principals were great too! Wonderful to see some new faces – especially young men.” (Frances McCafferty after the Friday performance)
  • “People, to whom I sold tickets, told me they liked the format … they felt involved … they could hear the dialogue … they thought that the staging was very  cleverly skilfully planned – appropriate balance of principals and chorus in the stage area. Amazing performances by principals. Chorus determined to contribute. One person from the matinée said how much he enjoyed the harmonies.” (reported by Ellen Patrick after the run)
  • NODA’s report is at this link.

Thanks to everyone who took part. As Ellen put it: “9 months of rehearsals, postponement, covid, etc., etc., could easily have evaporated to nothing if it hadn’t been for your determination to make it happen.”

Thanks also to Craig Lindsay for taking photographs of the matinée performance, many of which will shortly appear as a slide show.

Tonight’s the night!

The surroundings are different – after all it’s a dramatic concert staging, rather than a full show at Carnegie – but the quality of the singing and acting is “superb, unparalleled” to borrow the words of King Gama (Gordon Horne), seen here exchanging views with Florian (Matthew Sielewicz-Stanhope). Gama gets an uncertain welcome at Hildebrand’s court, but you’ll be “treated as an honoured guest” if you come to see us tonight (Gillespie Memorial Church, Dunfermline) or tomorrow (Limekilns Parish Church). Details at this link. You don’t need to have pre-booked – you can part with £10 at the door – and we’ll guarantee you’ll have “nothing whatever to grumble at” by the end of Act III.

[Thanks to Lady Blanche (Liz Landsman) for the photograph]

Next appearance

Pirates 2023

Your next chance to see the Society on stage will be on 16–18 February 2023, when we are back at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, for our twice-delayed 50th anniversary production of The Pirates of Penzance.

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