By Nahima Kern
The Pirates of Penzance
Written by Gilbert and Sullivan
Produced by Lynch and Paterson
Twelfth Night Theatre
Season: runs until April 18. Duration: 120 minutes with interval. Bookings: https://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=PENZANCE21
It takes a lot to refresh old favourites and take them someplace new. Sometimes, the inspiration to make something tried and true, ‘fresh’ can be just as difficult as putting on an entirely new show. The Lynch & Paterson's rendition of The Pirates of Penzance is a plucky take on bringing Brisbane audiences a new look ‘Pirates’ with the same feeling you would get when watching the show time and time again. Lynch and Paterson attempted to bring to audiences a funny, topical show with a small contemporary twist.
With the way the audience was reacting on opening night last night, it seems they most certainly did just that. Elliot Baker as the Pirate King was a definite highlight, and brought his own spin on a character that, in recent times has been often used to mimic a certain Disney-fied Pirate captain.
While Pirates of the Caribbean is a successful franchise of its own, bringing it to the Pirates of Penzance always feels a bit trite, so thankfully there was none of that last night. While there was a nod to the movies in this production it was torn down in an instant by the true Pirate King with comical effect.
Jack Biggs and Creative Producer Samantha Paterson as the young lovers Frederic and Mabel were well suited to their roles and did a good job of nailing the difficult vocal passages that Gilbert and Sullivan have so daringly crafted into their operetta.
What was most enjoyable about this rendition of Pirates is not just that we can finally see the theatre live again, but the added element of a chamber orchestra. The orchestra skillfully met the intensity of every situation head on and carried the energy through the show with vivacity and grace.
Finally, the full-house audience left the theatre last night with chatter and a laugh, and I think that’s what makes an impactful show, is if there are smiles on every face, and songs left in their hearts. The Pirates of Penzance, as played by the cast and creatives of Lynch & Paterson is worth a night out, seeing as Brisbane is becoming well and truly alive.