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HMS Pinafore visits Richmond upon Thames, London

Richmond is to host a major theatrical event later this year: a brand-new, all-professional production of the Gilbert & Sullivan classic HMS Pinafore. This is being staged in the idyllic setting of Orleans Gardens, on a specially-built stage with the Thames as background.

It stars John Lyons, best known as Sergeant George Toolan in A Touch of Frost, playing Sir Joseph Porter, the jumped-up barrister’s clerk who becomes head of the Navy, having never been to sea. Also featured is Marilyn Hill Smith as the Captain’s daughter and Sir Joseph’s unwilling suitor: she secretly loves Ralph Rackstraw, one of the ship’s crew. Marilyn received ecstatic reviews as the Mother Abbess in the recent national tour of The Sound of Music.

This innovative production is directed by Maurice Thorogood, a seasoned actor/director with experience ranging from Shakespeare, through Alan Aykbourn to modern musicals and pantomime. Along with choreographer Hayley Newnes and musical director Robin White, he will present Pinafore as light-hearted entertainment, whilst retaining the moments of pathos and clever plot-twists that were Gilbert’s trademark, all carried along by Sullivan’s effervescent score.

The show runs from 22 August to 1 September - including the August Bank Holiday. Numbers will be strictly limited to avoid overcrowding, so early booking is recommended. The gardens will be open beforehand: picnic hampers can be pre-booked, or patrons can bring their own food and drink to enjoy with their friends before the show.

For booking details visit the website.