HMS Pinafore

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HMS Pinafore

Postby Barry » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:32 am

or rather Sasha Regan's All male HMS Pinafore - the Lowry, 16th July 2016

I'd missed this company's Pirates, Iolanthe and Patience, and was a little hesitant about the idea of all male being a mere gimmick. How wrong I was. To watch the butch masculine cast transform with a twitch of an ankle or a rearrangement of a scarf into pure femininity was theatrical magic. Stripped back in every way, this has to be the most enjoyable version of the piece I have ever seen. Nodding to same sex school productions, and such, this had three bunks and some lights, suggestive of being in the bowels of a battleship, and out of ennui, the story started, and exploded into life, with dazzling inventive choreography and staging, and for all its machismo and theatricality and some camp, this was the most sincere and tender production. The relationship between Josephine and Ralph was extraordinarily moving, even played on an effectively empty stage. I have been giddy all week by the sheer inventiveness of this - that's where the Garrick falls down, big time. Being a celebration of theatrical artifice brings the play alive, rather than squashing it with literal detail. It's called play acting. This was so good, I and a friend grabbed a pizza and then went and did it all again, and loved every second second time round.
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