17 Jan 2018

Pirates of Penzance sets sail with international performer


The Empire Theatres have set sail on rehearsals for the 2018 major production, Gilbert and Sullivan favourite, Pirates of Penzance, announcing a stellar cast including a lineup of exceptionally talented local and professional performers. 

Starring as The Pirate King is internationally renowned singer and actor Michael Cormick, whose career highlights include roles in professional productions including Beauty and the Beast, The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Cats, Grease, The Rocky Horror Show, Mamma Mia!, Annie, Cabaret and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Michael’s role will bring him to the Empire Theatre once again after his popular performance with Marina Prior in February 2007.

Joining Michael on stage as Frederic is Brisbane-based musical theatre actor Alex Woodward and Ipswich rising opera star, Sophie Salvesani as Mabel, Matthew Collins as Major- General Stanley and Angela Ponting returning for her fourth Empire Theatres major production in the role of Ruth.

Director Terence O’Connell said the creative team and performers had been hard at work to create a spectacular show.

“We have just started working on the show, but I can say that the voices sound amazing,” Mr O’Connell said.

“Cherie Vera, Jessie Parsons and Emma Scanlon are pumping out some amazing Motown harmonies as the Modern Major General’s daughters,” he said.

Mr O’Connell said that while it was too early to give away the highlights of this production, he could reveal a few things.

“I can say that the show will be full of surprises and that this will be Gilbert & Sullivan for a 2018 audience.”

Mr O’Connell’s experience encompasses some 150 productions as director across Australia and internationally with more than 50 of these being musicals, including Oklahoma!, The Pajama Game, Dreamgirls and The King and I.

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 end result on stage in March.”

Tickets for Pirates of Penzance are on sale now. For more information or to book your tickets, please contact the Empire Theatre on 1300 655 299 or visit www.empiretheatre.com.au