Pirates! (A modern take on the Pirates of Penzance)
Pirates! (A modern take on the Pirates of Penzance)

3 Jun 2017 to 11 Jun 2017

Our modern take on the much loved classic.....


Modern day. Mabel and her sisters attend a Pirate Fair, where Frederic, the Pirate King, Ruth, Samuel, the Major General and the Sergeant all work. Mabel falls for Frederic, and he invites her and her sisters to go sailing on his boat and skin diving near Pirate Rock. Mabel goes home to change, but falls asleep and dreams about Frederic and Pirates.

On the coast of Cornwall, a gang of pirates fight and play as Frederic (a Pirate apprentice) reminds the Pirate King that his obligation to the gang is soon over. He was apprenticed to the Pirates only until his twenty-first birthday, which is that day, and he is leaving them. Ruth (Frederic’s nursery maid when he was younger) explains that Frederic should never have been a Pirate except for her mistake: She was told to apprentice Frederic to a Pilot, but she misunderstood and placed him with a Pirate instead.

Frederic tells the Pirates that after he leaves the gang he intends to destroy them. This is not because he doesn’t love them, but because he loathes what they do. He is a slave of duty and, when no longer a Pirate, it will be his duty to destroy them. The Pirates understand, and also complain that they cannot seem to make money.

Because Frederic is a slave-of-duty to the Pirates until noon, he tells them why: Because they are all orphans, the Pirates will not rob another orphan; and since all their potential victims are aware of this, they all claim to be orphans!

Because Frederic has spent his entire life with the Pirates, he’s never seen another woman besides Ruth; thus he thinks he may want to take Ruth with him as his wife. He asks Ruth if she is beautiful, and she responds that she is. Frederic, a very trusting young man, says that he believes Ruth and he will not let her age come between them.

At this point, however, Frederic hears a chorus of girls in the vicinity. He sees a group of beautiful young women ashore, realizes he was betrayed by Ruth, and rejects her. Frederic informs the girls that he is a pirate, but not for long. He asks if any of the girls will marry him, and the youngest, Mabel, agrees.

The Pirates enter the scene, and each grabs a girl. Major-General Stanley enters and thus identifies himself as the girls’ father, demanding to know what is taking place. When the Pirates tell Major-General Stanley that they intend to marry all his daughters, he objects, saying he has an aversion to having Pirates for sons-in-law; the Pirates respond that they’re opposed to having Major-Generals as fathers-in-law, but they will put aside the objection.

Knowing about the pirates’ weakness, Major-General Stanley tells them he is an orphan and, thus, disarms the pirates and takes his daughters, along with Frederic, away to his family chapel and estate. Mabel and Frederic then hatch a plan to obtain a Treasure Map. They sneak aboard the Pirate Ship, get the map, and sink the ship as they depart.


Mabel and Frederic go searching for the treasure and soon locate it, and bring it back to the Major-General. The Major-General, who actually is not an orphan, soon feels guilty about the lie he told the Pirates. Frederic, however, has a plan to lead a squad of zany policemen against the his old gang.

Before he can act, however, the Pirate King and Ruth arrive to tell Frederic that he is still obligated to the Pirates. Because Frederic was born on February 29 of a leap year, he has served only five birthdays, not the twenty-one required by his contract. A strong sense of duty forces Frederic to relent, and, because he is a member of the Pirate band again, he also reveals the truth that Major-General Stanley is not an orphan. The Pirate King vows that he will have revenge on the Major-General.

Mabel enters and begs Frederic not to go back to the Pirates, but bound by duty, he leaves. The Police ready their attack on the Pirates, while the Pirates creep in to take revenge on the Major-General. The Pirates defeat the Police, so the Major-General appears in a rather vain attempt to seek compassion, by again making out that they are all orphans. This move outrages the Pirate King, and he tells the Pirates to do away with the Major-General and his daughters. Mabel stops everyone and advises that this is her dream and that she wants a “happy ending”.

The Police then sing about having allegiance to the Queen in an effort to evoke the Pirates better nature. It works! The tables are turned, and the Police take the Pirates prisoner. However, when Ruth divulges that the Pirates are really noblemen, the Major-General then asserts that because the pirates have never really hurt anyone, they are forgiven. Mabel asks her father to give Frederic a full pardon. He does and says Mabel and Frederic are free to marry. The sisters cry foul, due to their custom where marrying must occur from eldest to youngest. Mabel feels helpless. The Pirate King reminds Mabel that it is her dream.

Mabel pairs up all her sisters with Pirates and Policemen, and the Pirate King with Ruth. Everyone then sings and the show ends. Following the curtain call and the bows, the cast sing and dance about how important a happy ending is. Then, finally, after the show, Mabel wakes up to find that Frederic has come for her. She wonders if he has come out of a sense of duty……………………….

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Stawell Entertainment Centre
Session TimesTicket PricesDuration
150 minutes
Restrictions/WarningsShow Administration