The Pirates Of
- In the presence of Her Royal Highness The
Louise Gold appeared as Isabel, one of Major General Stanley's daughter's, at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, on Monday 17 May 1982, in aid of Childrens Country Holidays Fund & Elizabeth Fitzroy Homes. This was a Gala production preview of The Pirates Of Penzance that opened there on 26th May 1982.
Perhaps one of the most amazing things about this production was the cast, some of whom were already names, and many of whom went on to become better known. In addition the band of Noblemen-turned-Pirates included among their number a real nobleman.
The Pirate King - Tim Curry
Ruth, A Pirate Maid - Annie Ross
Edith - Karen Lancaster
Kate - Bonnie Langford
Isabel - Louise Gold
Mabel - Pamela Stephenson
Major-General Stanley - George Cole
The Sergeant - Chris Langham
Pirates and Police:
Graham Bickley, Keith Binns, Peppi Borza, Ken Caswll,
Mark Davis, Kevin Feighery, Alan Forrester, Andrew
Golder, David Hampshire,
Neil Braithwaite Christina Collier, John Denton, Michael Lessiter, Anita Pashley, Sarah Shipton, William Snape & David Wheldon-Williams
Pirate King Chris Langham
Ruth Sarah Shipton
Frederic Graham Bickley
Edith Louise Gold
Major-General Kevin A. J. Ranson
Sergeant David Hampshire
Mabel Christina Collier
Kate Carolyn Allen
Isabel Jackie Downey
Swings Ray Hatfield, and, Anita Pashley
Conductor Martin Koch
Clarinets Richard Blewett, and, Martin Frith
Bassoon David Miles
Flutes Carol Brown, and, Alexa Turpin
Trumpets Malcolm Gosden, and, Tim Hawes
Trombone Peter Thorley
Keyboards Tom Gilhooly, and, Andy Reed
Mallets Nigel Charman
Timpani Julian Fairbank
Percussion Tony Bourke
Bass Lesley Hooson, and, Peter Trundley
Producer - Joseph Papp
Presented by - Michael White
Lyrics/Libretti - William S Gilbert
Music - Sir Arthur Sullivan
Original Productions 30 December 1879 at The Royal Bijou Theatre, Paignton, with Miss Kate Neville as Isabel, and then, 31 December 1879, at The 5th Avenue Theatre, New York, with Miss Billie Barlow as Isabel.
Director - Wilford Leach
Musical Arranger - William Elliott
Choreography - Graciela Daniele
Scenery by - Bob Shaw & Wilford Leach
Costumes by - Patricia McGourty
Lighting by - Jennifer Tipton
Sound by - Don Ketteler
Musical Director - Martin Koch
Company Manager Nick Bromley
Stage Manager Joanne Connelly
Deputy Stage Manager Andrew Flint-Shipman
Assistant Stage Managers Debi Turner, and, Sarah Whiting
Dance Captain Peppi Borza
Sound Operators Richard Salzedo, Stephen Williams, and, Miki Jablkowska
Wardrobe Mistress Eve Barnes
Assistant Wardrobe Mistress Alison Scott
Wig Supervisor/Stylist Hugo Byron-Wiggins
Production Manager Alistair Smith
Assistant to Miss Daniele Roy Jones
Assistant to Miss Tipton Spike Gaden
Assistant to Mr Ketteler Ron Annas
Vocal Coach Marjorie Rivington
Production Carpenter Robert Knight
Production Electrician Jenny Cane
Production Sound Engineer Philip Clifford
Costume Supervisor Jean Turnbull
Property Buyer Buffy Kimm
Production Assistant Helen Nicholson
Production Photographer Zoe Dominic
Assistant to Miss Turnbull Karen Hore
The entire cast went on to appear in The Pirates Of Penzance when it opened officially at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 26th May 1982.
This performance was one of a number of charity previews given prior to the official opening, some of the others included: The Pirates Of Penzance (Gala Preview), and, The Pirates Of Penzance (Benefit Preview).
Amusingly, given that at the end of the Operetta The Pirates get let-off because they are noblemen, in this production Louise Gold found herself waltzing around the stage with a real nobleman, namely Timothy Charles Robert Noel Bentinck, who went on to inherit the title of 12th Earl Of Portland, Tim also went on to play David Archer in the BBC Radio 4 soap The Archer's .
Louise Gold, Timothy Bentinck, Peppi Borza, David Hampshire, and Simon Howe had previously appeared in the Papp film version of The Pirates Of Penzance.
In the film of The Pirates Of Penzance, Louise Gold played the role of Edith. The only one of the three girls whom Louise Gold has not played is Kate, interestingly in the second ever production of The Pirates Of Penzance, at The 5th Avenue Theatre in New York, that role was played by Miss Rosina Brandram, whom Louise Gold would later portray in the film Topsy Turvy.
Most of the cast took part, largely as The Pirates Of Penzance cast, in the 1982 Royal Variety Performance, which that year was actually at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
It is perhaps worth noting that Theatre Royal Drury Lane has witnessed many historical occurrences, in particular connected with royalty, including assassination attempts on two of the King Georges
Many of the cast stand out in their contribution to theatre, and a surprising number of them either had worked together before, or would later be reunited. For example:
Chris Langham had been both a script-writer and a Guest Star on The Muppet Show, so he already knew Louise Gold in her puppeteer guise. Chris Langhams writing credits with the Muppets include: Muppet Show Music Album, and The Muppets Go To The Movies.
Louise Gold and Chris Langham had previously appeared in The All Time Get Around Sometimes Play Together Every Other Friday Night Vaudeville Show, and on the documentary Of Muppets And Men.
Roy Jones had previously worked as assistant to the choreographer on the film The Great Muppet Caper.
Anita Pashley and Bonnie Langford had previously appeared together in the original company of Cats, immediately prior to their appearing in The Pirates Of Penzance.
Tim Curry later starred as another Pirate, Long John Silver, in the film Muppet Treasure Island, which of course Louise Gold puppeteered on. .
Louise Gold and Pamela Stephenson went on to do voices for Spitting Image, on which Louise Gold was also Leading Puppeteer, and for which Chris Langham did some writing.
Louise Gold, Anita Pashley and Kevin A. J. Ranson, later worked together on Anything Goes.
McCoy went on to appear on many
Children's TV programmes including: Jigsaw,
Jenny Cane went on to become the lighting designer for Follies.
Graham Bickleys recording credits include The Best Of Broadway Musicals , Encore The Very Best From The Musicals , Great Duets From The Musicals , Cole Porter - Night And Day, The Great Musicals - Wonderful Tales, The Great Musicals Glamour And Majesty, Simply Musicals, The Great Musicals Dashing Heroes, Blushing Maidens, Magic Of The Musicals, and, The Great Musicals - From Broadway to Hollywood.
Bonnie Langford went on to appear in Broadway To Brighton.
Louise Gold has gone on to appear on stage in another G&S operetta, The Gondoliers, in 2003.
Louise Gold and Sylvester McCoy have gone on to appear in Noises Off.
Martin Koch, and, Sylvester McCoy may have gone on to take part in Thing A Thon.
Backstage crew members Nick Bromley, and, Miki Jablkowska went on to work on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang .
Graham Bickley, and, Louise Gold went on to appear in Mexican Hayride.
Louise Gold subsequently returned to
Tim Curry, Louise Gold, and, Chris Langham went on to appear on the documentary I Love The Muppets.
George Cole went on to appear on the documentary ITVs 50 Greatest Shows.
Links about The Pirates Of Penzance Royal Gala Preview
Childrens Country Holidays Fund, website: http://www.childrensholidays.org.uk/