This motley crew pictured above, as you might guess, are bringing a bit of Gilbert and Sullivan fun to the masses this month with another great British tradition of jovality and hope: Outdoor summer theatre.
Picnics and plastic ponchos at the ready –Iilyria theatre company is nearing the end of a lengthy national tour of HMS Pinafore, and weigh anchor in Wirral’s Ness Gardens on Sunday, August 26 at 5.30pm.
They say: “In 2011 Illyria raised the bar for the major UK open-air touring theatre companies by becoming the first and only one to add Opera to its regular season. The ticket sales, acclaim and feedback from last season’s The Pirates of Penzance all vouch for its enormous success.”
Set on board the warship HMS Pinafore, the opera cheerfully mocks such Great British institutions as class, patriotism and the Royal Navy. Josephine the captain’s daughter is in love with Ralph a common sailor, but her father wants her to marry Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty. The couple are caught as they elope from the ship and Ralph is locked in the ship’s dungeon. Only when certain revelations are made by Buttercup, a dockside vendor, can everyone end up freely marrying their true hearts’ loves.
This classic comic opera gets the complete Illyria treatment, we’re told, faithfully performed by a reduced cast on a beautiful nautical set. The cast includes Liverpool’s own Angie Waller (Impropriety, Clitingham Avenue).
Tickets for the Ness Gardens show are available here.