Review Round Up: The Pirates of Penzance, London Coliseum

Mike Leigh’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera is revived for the first time at the London Coliseum. Here is what critics have been saying about it: 

The Telegraph: **** “the result is a bright light entertainment, all the more welcome given these dark chill times.”

The Stage: **** “the joy of the show, with conductor Gareth Jones at the helm, is just how much it delights the ear.”

The Guardian: **** “Francesca Jaynes’s choreography is unfussy but effective.”

Express: **** “English National Opera’s Orchestra under Gareth Jones gives a pacy and well defined performance of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s marvellous score.”

WhatsOnStage: *** “If you enjoy the music of Gilbert and Sullivan you’ll probably adore this rapturously sung revival of The Pirates of Penzance. If it’s theatrical zaniness you’re after, expect to be disappointed.”

A Younger Theatre: “Mike Leigh’s staging (implemented by revival director Sarah Tipple) responds to that infinite variety with a rather staid and static production.”

Broadway World: **** “On a cold, dark evening, at a time when the world often seems like a gloomy and depressing place, this production has enough sparkle to brighten the gloomiest heart.”

The Times:  ** “This is comic opera laid out on a dissecting slab, where any attempts to shade the romp with dark undertones quickly shrivel and die.”

Evening Standard: *** “Yet despite the vocal line-up, and Alison Chitty’s vibrant designs, the first act catches fire only intermittently.”

MusicOMH: **** “Nevertheless, while nothing beats a first class staging of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, this Pirates proves that a thoughtful revival of a flawed production, which also boasts an excellent cast, can run it a very close second.”

Culture Whisper: **** “The Pirates of Penzance is a hoot and a scream, but there are moments of great beauty too – Gareth Jones conducting the ENO orchestra and chorus master James Henshaw make sure of that –and we can all do with some of that right now.”

Bachtrack: *** “a new cast dripping with crisp enthusiasm but just as nice as before. And here the problem lies.”

Johnny Fox: *** “It makes for a cold and rather soulless evening as the simplicity of the production highlights both its age and its many flaws.”

The Upcoming: **** “The irresistibly uplifting score and genuinely amusing text provide much substance in themselves, but the elegant touch of the ENO group is felt throughout, and it does full justice to this timeless piece.”

The Pirates of Penzance continues to play at the London Coliseum until the 25th March. To book tickets visit: Discount, Love, Theatre and UK

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