07 Mar 2018


The Pirates of Penzance will sail into port next week when the Empire Theatre’s major production for 2018 opens on Wednesday March 14.

The highly anticipated production runs for just one week with just five performances to choose from.

The musical stars internationally successful singer and actor Michael Cormick as the Pirate King, Brisbane-based actor Alex Woodward as Frederic and rising opera star Sophie Salvesani as Mabel as well as popular local favourites Matthew Collins and Angela Ponting as highly comedic characters Major-General Stanley and hard of hearing nursemaid Ruth.

Director Terence O’Connell said the show was a funny and magical piece of entertainment.

“This story is really about the meeting of two different worlds. You have the world of the pirates and the upper class visitors, the modern Major-General and his seven daughters,” Mr O’Connell said.

“There are battles between them and of course in the end things turn out extremely well, but it’s about the meeting of these worlds and how they both learn something from each other,” he said.

“Gilbert and Sullivan shows are still incredibly popular around the world and something doesn’t last that long if it’s not great,”

“This version was adapted and performed by Simon Gallaher and John English for a number of years,

“We have re-staged it, re-choreographed it, all the costumes have been re-worked and we have got a pretty amazing lighting plan worked out for this as well.

“It’s comic and extravagant and extremely fast moving and it does have beautiful melodies played by a big orchestra, which you don’t see a lot of these days.”

Mr O’Connell said was very happy with the work being displayed by the cast.

“Sophie Salvesani, who is playing Mabel, is extraordinary and has really got a voice, along with Alex Woodward, playing Frederic, as the young lovers they are both amazing,” he said.

“Michael as the Pirate King is just great and also Matt Collins and Angela Ponting as the two comic actors are again, very funny.

“We are certainly laughing a lot, so we hope that the audience will too!”

Heritage Bank CEO Peter Lock said Heritage Bank was delighted to sponsor the Empire Theatre’s major annual production for the 12th year in a row.
“As a long time-supporter of Empire Theatre, we are so proud to help bring wonderful entertainment to the people of our region as well as provide hands-on opportunities for local performers and backstage staff,” Mr Lock said.
“With a cast including renowned performer Michael Cormick, Pirates of Penzance is sure to be a thoroughly entertaining, high-quality show and I can’t wait to see the result on stage in March.”

Pirates of Penzance runs from March 14-17. For more information or to book your tickets, please contact the Empire Theatre on 1300 655 299 or visit www.empiretheatre.com.au.