This September, The Pirates of Penzance left their rocky seashore to appear at the Staveley Village Hall. This unique production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta was excellently performed by Staveley Amateur Operatic Society, which became a sell-out show.

The new producers, Chris, and Jo Worton, enhanced the show with their choice of combining experienced actors with two children, who added authenticity to the production.

They said: "We’ve been performing Gilbert and Sullivan for many years.

"However, this was the first time we have directed and produced a show; a thoroughly enjoyable experience."

The Westmorland Gazette: The police hunt for the piratesThe police hunt for the pirates (Image: Adam Baboolal)

Peter Bowden starred as Frederic, a pirate who intends intends to leave his life of crime on the high seas. However, the Pirate King, Brian Lancaster, explains that his contract is for twenty-one birthdays and thus, with a sense of duty, Frederic is forced to stay.

The soprano, Leigh Rhianon Coggins, as Mabel, professionally trained in music and drama, entertained with whit and enthusiasm. Her voice was a highlight, reaching the highest of notes and serenading every corner of the hall.

Alongside her, the Major General, John Reid, never faulted as he sailed through the rhetoric of complex verses with practiced ease.

The Westmorland Gazette: The vibrant costuming added a flourish to the performancesThe vibrant costuming added a flourish to the performances (Image: Adam Baboolal)

The razzle and dazzle of brightly coloured female costumes was captivating.  And, although the stage was small, the troupe of actors danced as if in a spacious ballroom, while the orchestra, with Music Director David Tattersall, gave an excellent performance.

The icing on the cake, apart from the one celebrating Frederic’s twenty-first birthday, was the arrival of Queen Victoria, played by Lorna Kelly. Regaled in her mourning dress, she majestically pardoned the pirates before leaving like an apparition.

If W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan were watching from the wings, as they once did, they would surely have approved of this production. It added a modern take without compromising their original, bringing about much laughter and encores from the audience. And although not a professional production, it was far from amateur.