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The Pirates of Penzance

May 3rd - October 27thAvon TheatreTicket Info
Generally Negative Reviews based on 7 Critics
7 Reviews

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This is a listing for the 2012 season. For the current 2023 shows click here.

The American Conservative - Noah Millman

The promise of the premise

“The biggest disappointment, because I know what a fine actor he is, was Sean Arbuckle as the Pirate King….Hopefully as the show develops, he’ll let the fantasy run wilder with him. It is a glorious thing, after all, to be the Pirate King – it is, it is!”

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London Free press - John Coulbourn

McSweeny tries to rise above the...

“McSweeney finds some new ideas for a modern take on Gilbert and Sullivan, but he fails utterly to separate wheat from chaff. Not only do his ideas tumble over each other in this too-often cluttered production, they also collide regularly with the very tradition he’s trying to overthrow.”

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The Stratford beacon Herald - Donal O'Connor

Fans won't be disapointed

“G and S fans, who may have been left pining for the past few years on their Stratford visits, won’t find this show lacking….Arbuckle cuts a fierce picture as the pirate leader, with the necessary touches of softness and dandyism. Blair is handsome and agile and oh so dedicated to duty as Frederic.”

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James' Brand New Blog | London Free Press - James Reaney

Welcome return to Gilbert & Sullivan

Reaney enjoyed the show and, as ususual, adds local notes:”…among the cast is Guthrie-award funded concertina ace George Meanwell. He was at Trent University when JBNBlog was there back in the early 1970s. JBNBlog salutes you for your marvellous journey from Short Turn to Quartetto Gelato to Penzance & beyond. The 1978 Short Turn album, blue vinyl & all, still sounds terrific. Just finished listening to Side One.”

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The Record - Robert Reid

McSweeny places the operetta within...

“This is Gilbert and Sullivan that promises more than it delivers…gner Anna Louizos’ scaffolding set has become a rock opera cliche. It’s so imposing and clutters the stage so much that it gives the cast little room for dancing, even if choreographer Marcos Santana had provided them with something to dance.”

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The Toronto Star - Richard Ouzounian

Cast is just one of its flaws

The cast have all proven their merits elsewhere, which makes their largely flat performances here even more disappointing. Only Kyle Blair, as young Frederick, comes out ahead of the game…Sean Arbuckle turns in a washed-out version of Errol Flynn, instead of the Johnny Depp theatrics, for example, that would have been welcome.

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Postmedia News - Jamie Portman

One out of three ain't bad

“42nd Street is a resounding triumph – but The Pirates of Penzance and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown are feeble.” In contrast to other reviewers, Portman notes:”Patterson’s testosterone-driven Snoopy – swaggering macho raucousness – should be dispatched to the doghouse forthwith. This Snoopy is less an affirmation of canine lovability than an argument for neutering.

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