Mayfair Theatre, 100 King Edward Street, Kensington, Dunedin

12/10/2017 - 19/10/2017

Production Details

This jaunty tale has it all: A Pirate King with a heart of gold! The very model of a Modern Major General! A nursery-maid who has a lot of explaining to do to her boss! A hero and heroine whose fates hang on the wording of a contract!

Best of all, we have a cast of singers who by night play pirates, policemen and daughters but by day are mild-mannered citizens of our own fair city!

This show will have you singing all the way home.

Thursday 12 October at 7:30pm
Saturday 14 October at 7:30pm
Sunday 15 October at 2:00pm
Tuesday 17 October at 6:00pm
Thursday 19 October at 7:30pm

Adults $40; Students (Uni) $15
Purchase tickets:
In Person: Miracle, Wall St Mall
Phone:  (03) 476 2644

Don’t miss out- book now!


Major-General Stanley:  John McCallum
The Pirate King:  Chris Keogh
Samuel, his Lieutenant:  Nick Tipa
Frederic, the Pirate Apprentice:  Harry Grigg
Sergeant of Police:  Scott Bezett
Ruth, a Piratical Maid of all work:  Claire Barton

General Stanley's daughters:
Mabel:  Beth Goulstone
Edith:  Erica Paterson
Kate:   Courtney Hickmott
Isabel:  Josie Frazer

Chorus of Pirates and Police
Jeffrey Dick, George Keen, Kieran Kelly, Zachary Pearce, Steve Pinker, Geoff Swift, Campbell Thomson, David Thomson, Frank van Betuw.

Chorus of General Stanley's Daughters
Josephine Chan, Madi Dow, Eliza Genever, Lillian Gibbs, Bethany Osbourne, Natalie Paterson, Kristina Saul.

Members of Dunedin Symphony Orchestra:
Concertmaster:  Tessa Petersen
Double Bass:  Patricia Dean
Flute/Piccolo:  Philippa McNulty
Oboe:  Nick Cornish
Clarinet:  Emily Sterk
Bassoon:  Amanda Bradley
French Horn:  Jerome Rouse
Timpani/Percussion:  Mark Anderson

Stage Director – Nadya Shaw Bennett
Assistant Director – Sandra Shaw Bennett
Music Director – Sam van Betuw
Artistic Director – Judy Bellingham
Choreographer – Shona Bennett
Set Design & Construction – Peter King
Audio Visual design – Simon Anderson
Audio visual & Sound operator – Phil Cahill
Production Team - Judy Bellingham, John Drummond, Ingrid Fomison-Nurse, Natalie Paterson, Geoff Swift
Production Manager – Harriet Moir
Costuming/Wardrobe Mistress – Sofie Welvaert
Assisted by – Helen Davies
Graphic Designer – Zina Vandervis
Promotion – Claire Barton, Mary Dixon, Anita Gibbs, Harriet Moir, Sophie Morris, Sarah Oliver, Simon Wilson
Programme – Zina Vandervis, Hope & Sons, Mary Dixon, Sarah Oliver, Simon Wilson, Claire Barton, Harriet Moir
Photographer – Kelly Lindsay Photography
Stage Manager – Linda Brewster
Assistant Stage Manager – Christine Wilson
Lighting Designer – Anna Sinton
Lighting Operator – Alex Frost
Fly Operator – Ian McCabe
Stage Properties – Christine Wilson
Make-up – Megan Duckworth
Hair Stylist – Lorna Mercer 
Repetiteur – Mike Crowl
Finance - Simon Wilson, Peter Russell
Fund Manager – Mary Dixon
Front of House – Tricia Scott, Heidi McGregor, Brenda Rendall, Neill Leitch, Frances Brodie, Justin Scott, Helen Scott, Liam Scott, Sophia Scott, Beth Evans, Natalie Sullivan, Arnold Bachop, Dawn Bachop, Geoff Smith, Kay Smith, Ruth Brown
Green Room/Flowers/Foyer – Mary Dixon  

Theatre , Opera , Musical ,

Infectious fun

Review by Hannah Molloy 14th Oct 2017

Opera Otago’s Pirates of Penzance at the lovely Mayfair Theatre is great fun and its opening night audience are there to be pleased by it. The voices are gorgeous and action swashbuckling. Costumes are uncomplicated and appealing, with pirates in blood red, policemen in navy and black, and the fair maidens in virginal white overlaid with slightly Amazonian corsets.

The performers are a fantastic mix of emerging and established performers, crossing and re-crossing the generational divide, giving the ensemble a depth and range that swells the songs.

Beth Goulstone, as Mabel, is completely outstanding. Her voice is elegant and delightful; she manages the comic elements of some of her solos exquisitely and she also plays her character cleverly. I could listen to her voice for days. Clare Barton playing Ruth, the other female lead, is also a delight to listen to, with her experienced voice mellow and rich.

One very deep male voice in the ensemble that I can’t pinpoint is also beautiful to hear. Harry Grigg as Frederic keeps the action moving and his duets with his lovely Mabel are gorgeous. Chris Keogh as the Pirate King is hammy to the max and greatly expressive as he and his lieutenant (Nick Tipa) lead their merry band of well-meaning and kind-hearted, but not very effective, pirates to a happy ending.

The fair maidens are spicy and girlish, gleefully sending their brave protectors off to battle. Needless to say, the policemen aren’t excited at the prospect.

There are a couple of small opening night glitches. The dual projector AV is a little offset, which has the audience giggling as the ship crosses through the line, almost as though it has disappeared momentarily through some kind of worm hole. There are one or two minor wardrobe malfunctions and occasionally the music is a little loud for the voices. These are tiny details though and the company works well together. They look as though they are having fun with each other, which for a performance of this sort is the best way to infect the audience with pleasure.

I leave the performance with two thoughts. The first is that Dunedin punches so far above its weight in terms of performing arts talent, and when you consider population size (and the associated levels of funding that are accessible here), that has an exponential quality. Any of these performers (especially the leads) could be on a stage anywhere and expect to receive hearty applause.  

The second is that I really hope that, in a time of endless Weinsteins, Trumps and Keys, soon we will lay some of these classic works to rest. I feel angry for Ruth as she is dismissed and disgraced just for being plain and I find myself wishing the girls would go and fight their own battles, and not allow themselves to be manipulated by a man who fears being lonely. Men don’t need to be portrayed as dumb to be funny and women don’t need to be fragile to be endearing.

This thought leads me directly back to my first thought: we have the talent here. I know it’s expensive and time-consuming and risky to write, produce and perform new work but I’ve seen plenty of shows produced locally that live up to these performers’ skill and I will heartily support more of it. 


John Smythe October 18th, 2017

As a general observation (not having seen the production in question), works qualify as classics because they embody universal and timeless truths. That’s what makes them worth revisiting. And it’s inevitable that every generation will come to them with a different sensibility and sensitivity, conditioned by their own lives and times.

No-one would produce The Taming of the Shew or The Merchant of Venice, for two examples, without being conscious of contemporary attitudes to men dominating women or anti-semitism. You don’t change the text, you just bring an awareness to it and trust your audience to see it for what it is and respond accordingly.  That may lead some to say it has little to offer us now, while others like to be reminded of how things used to be.  

David Thomson October 17th, 2017

Wholeheartingly agree with Mike Crowl no masterpiece of this calibre should be laid to rest and forgotten,these shows can be recreated over and over again and in this case the creativeness comes from a very talented young Director Nadya Shaw- Bennett who I am sure will go onto to even more bigger creations of other productions.

As Mike said Pirates is set in Victorian England and to stay a little with the times has been produced that way . The revewer shoud understand that woman of the time were in soom respects treated this way and this is how the writer has portrayed as such.

Mike Crowl October 14th, 2017

"The second is that I really hope that, in a time of endless Weinsteins, Trumps and Keys, soon we will lay some of these classic works to rest. I feel angry for Ruth as she is dismissed and disgraced just for being plain and I find myself wishing the girls would go and fight their own battles, and not allow themselves to be manipulated by a man who fears being lonely. Men don't need to be portrayed as dumb to be funny and women don't need to be fragile to be endearing."

Pirates is a 19th century piece. It's not intended to be a commentary on modern society, though some of its satire is still valid. To say that a classic work should be put to one side merely because it upsets some modern views is to say that we shouldn't watch anything that has a different perspective to ours. This attitude is pervading US and UK universities, and causing no end of trouble. And in the process the students learn nothing about how other people thought or think. 

Apart from that this is a great review of a delightful production!

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