Review: LOpSoc's HMS Pinafore

LOpSoc’s production of HMS Pinafore was a thoroughly enjoyable, skillful and often amusing performance of this musical classic. The band performed the music to a great standard and the choruses brought the […]


five stars

LOpSoc’s production of HMS Pinafore was a thoroughly enjoyable, skillful and often amusing performance of this musical classic.

The band performed the music to a great standard and the choruses brought the right mood to each of the scenes and musical numbers. It couldn’t have been easy to pull off a somewhat more relaxed production that gets across the comical nature of the play, but LOpSoc succeeded very well.

The sailors of HMS Pinafore

The sailors of HMS Pinafore. Photo Credit: David Aggus

The musical score to the play has quite a strong nautical twist, which the band pulled off well throughout the play, quite an achievement considering how much of the musical was made of songs.

There were comparatively few spoken scenes, and it reflects well on the band that they were able to keep the solid performance up the whole way through.

Sir Joseph Porter and Cousin Hebe, played by Owen Perring and Alex Blelloch

Sir Joseph Porter and Cousin Hebe, played by Owen Perring and Alex Blelloch. Photo Credit: David Aggus

Undoubtedly the best aspect of the production were the choruses. Both the sailors of HMS Pinafore and the doting yet overbearing sisters, cousins and aunts of Sir Joseph Porter gave the play much of the comical value as well as the more conventional singing.

It would have been easy for the choruses to have been rather passive, only singing along with the songs and pad out the stage a little. Not here. The chorus of sailors were never idle, always responding amongst themselves to whatever was happening in the scene.

The sisters, cousins and aunts followed Sir Joseph around, doting on him but also bearing over him and helping to present the image of the buffoon who is firmly under the thumb of his female relations.

Ralph Rackstraw and Josephine, played by Tom Hudson and Jenny Riggs

Ralph Rackstraw and Josephine, played by Tom Hudson and Jenny Riggs. Photo Credit: David Aggus

The main cast was excellent, in particular the partnering of Sir Joseph with Cousin Hebe, who played the bickering relationship very well. The Captain was particularly good in portraying both sides of the doting father and the strict but well respected captain, often concurrently.

The Sisters, Cousins and Aunts of Sir Joseph

The Sisters, Cousins and Aunts of Sir Joseph. Photo Credit: David Aggus

One aspect to improve upon is that the choruses were rather large for the set and when the entire cast and chorus were on stage, it could be quite crowded and difficult to see what was going on.

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Photo Credit: David Aggus

Overall, this is one of the best musicals I have seen for a long time. The balance of music and humour was spot on.

Did you see LOpSoc’s performance of HMS Pinafore? Tell us what you thought in the comments.