It’s a paradox that in a world of overloading visual and aesthetic sensation that Gilbert & Sullivan still hold traction.
But the production at the Theatre Royal showed why. The sets were simple, the story daft, but the outcome charming and delightful nonetheless.
Anthony Flaum was charming as honourable apprentice pirate Frederic. He was well-matched by Emma Walsh as Mabel, as his would-be bride.
Toby Stafford-Allen was a tunefully camp Pirate King, and Richard Gauntlet the model modern general. Simon Wilding was an unhappy sergeant that delighted the audience. The 26-piece audience accompanied in fine fashion, with the ensemble cast mostly on point.
What shone through was Gilbert & Sullivan’s stunning book, still fresh, funny and inventive 140 years after the first performance. Hail the poetry, and hail the music.