Pirates at Paxton

Pirates of Penzance
Pirates of Penzance

EVENTS over the past few weeks haven’t exactly been blessed with splendid summer weather but the cast behind the al fresco entertainment coming to Paxton House on Tuesday, August 2, vow to give it their all come rain or shine.

Illyria Theatre took to an outdoor stage at the Palladian mansion house a few weeks ago with their production of ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ and now they’re back with Gilbert and Sullivan’s famous opera ‘The Pirates of Penzance’.

First performed on December 31, 1879, the hilarious melodrama, sharp satire and glittering wit of the show make it as fresh as though it had been written today. 

Packed with laughter, romance and a galleon-full of memorable songs such as ‘To be a Pirate King’, ‘Modern Major General’ and ‘A Policeman’s Lot is Not a Happy One’, the wonderful classic will get the complete Illyria treatment regardless of what weather Tuesday evening brings.

The cast of seven performed in torrential rain on the opening night of their open air tour, although firmly touching wood, director Oliver Gray said there hadn’t been a repeat of the drenching any time since.

“On the whole this cast have been quite lucky,” he said.

“All was looking good on the first night of the tour at Chepstow Castle but the heavens opened during the interval and torrential rain continued throughout the second half.

“There’s only been the occasional showers during performances since then but even if it pours the cast will just dance through the raindrops! Our production is built for the open air so it can go on even if it rains solidly.

“When it has rained our audiences have developed their own Dunkirk spirit. There’s something unique about the British personality in that when a little adversity is thrown our way we become all the more determined.”

‘Pirates of Penzance’ starts at 7pm and ticketts are priced adults £15; children £10 and family £45.