Anchors aweigh for latest G&S production at Kings Lynn Arts Centre

The Pirate King is played by Anil Chakrabarti, one of the colourful characters taking to the stage in West Norfolk G&S production of Pirates of Penzance
The Pirate King is played by Anil Chakrabarti, one of the colourful characters taking to the stage in West Norfolk G&S production of Pirates of Penzance
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Lynn Arts Centre is about to be invaded by swashbuckling pirates, who bring with them a hearty selection of sea shanties, waves of comedy and a host of charitable new partnerships.

West Norfolk Gilbert and Sullivan Society are back with the latest production in their cannon, The Pirates of Penzance is set to wow audiences in the intimate venue, following on from last year’s huge success with The Sorcerer.

Opening on Wednesday, the group will once again be holding an extra performance to maximise their fundraising for a selection of local groups after the success of last year’s show.

Publicity manager Amanda Arterton said: “It’s time to grab a ticket for our latest offering, The Pirates of Penzance, which opens next week. We’re back at the Arts Centre after The Sorcerer was so well received there last year, the more intimate venue really lends itself to the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operettas.”

The Pirates of Penzance has been wowing audiences since its first performance in December 1879 In New York. It has always been one of the favourites of Gilbert and Sullivan’s works and has been made into a successful film with Kevin Kline, Angela Lansbury and Linda Ronstadt.

With the hapless Pirates and bungling Police there is enormous fun to be had and people never seem to tire of the show and it contains some of Arthur Sullivan’s best music.

The comic opera is being directed by the same team as The Sorcerer in 2014, Andrew Nicklin and Derek Oldfield. Amanda said: “We have a terrifically talented cast again including new young faces taking on two of the principal female roles, Katie Hargreaves is playing Edith and Gemma Gryko playing Kate, with the very experienced Sharon Cutworth playing leading lady, Mabel.

“Last year, at the last minute we had to get someone to take over the lead tenor role and I am delighted to say that Laurence Panter will be returning to play Frederic with us this year. We are very lucky to get him as he is in great demand all over the country, as is John Torr, from Peterborough, who will be playing one of his favourite patter roles Major General Stanley.”

Audiences will also see Anil Chakrabarti playing the Pirate King, Andy Hiles as Samuel, and Andrew Masterson and Julie Bjerrigaard are The Sergeant of Police and Ruth.

Amanda added: “Some of the cast had a delightful day on board The Abatros moored in Wells Harbour as well as frolicking and swashbuckling on Old Hunstanton beach. They caused quite a stir as many people in Wells and Hunstanton thought we had Johnny Depp with us as Captain Jack Sparrow and I didn’t correct them.

“Once again the society has been able to get a local business sponsor for each performance and they will also be donating to their chosen charity on stage before the show. The charities to benefit this year are East Anglian Air Ambulance, Tapping House Hospice, Age UK Norfolk, The Alzheimer’s Society, and Macmillan Cancer Support.”

The show runs from Wednesday, January 28, to Saturday, January 31, at 7.30pm. There is also a matinee at 2.30pm on January 31. Tickets are available from the box office on 01553 764864.