From its humble beginnings playing to 50 people under an arch in Southwark, The Pirates are preparing for their voyage across the sea. Ahoy boys!
Sasha's All-Male Pirates started a 4-week run at The Union Theatre back in 2009. The 50-seater venue she established back in 1997, set under a railway arch in Southwark, had been growing from strength to strength. Pirates received rave reviews "pure joy," "an irresistible delight," "as brilliant and heretical as Matthew Bourne's vision of Swan Lake."
In the spring of 2010 the production moved to the oldest surviving music hall in the world, the magnificent 300-seater Wilton's Music Hall where it ran to full houses for six weeks. Suddenly there was a huge amount of interest in this innovative production. We were invited, off the back of Wiltons, to play the 900-seater Rose Theatre in Kingston for a fortnight.
Little did we know that in the audience were representatives from Australia and The United States. Following a lot of to-ing and fro-ing Pirates hit Hackney Empire for a week at the end of September 2012 before embarking on a national tour of Australia playing Canberra, Mount Gambier, Renmark, Perth, Wollongong, selling out in Adelaide and Cate Blanchett's Sydney Theatre, where it played the main house for three-weeks. The feedback was fantastic.
In the Spring of this year we amused, surprised and entertained audiences around the UK with Sasha's HMS Pinafore - If you are lucky enough a show comes along that is so inventive and brilliant it takes your breath away - so due to demand we're proud to announce that Pirates is back on British Soil in the Spring of 2015 with a UK Tour.
The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty, was first produced at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York on 31 December, 1879, and, also, for copyright purposes one performance was given in England on the previous day at the Royal Bijou Theatre, Paignton. The first performance in London, however, was not until 3 April, 1880, when it was produced at the Opera Comique. Both Gilbert and Sullivan incorporated a small amount of words and music in this opera from their first joint production of 1871, Thespis, or The Gods Grown Old. The music of Thespis, however, was never published. When Sullivan started to compose the music for The Pirates he commenced in the middle of Act II, but had not proceeded far before he was compelled to leave for America with Gilbert to stop the pirating of H.M.S. Pinafore; therefore, with the exception of that portion which he had composed in England Sullivan wrote the whole of the score of The Pirates of Penzance at his hotel in New York.
"I think it will be a great success", he wrote home to his Mother, "for it is exquisitely funny, and the music is strikingly tuneful and catching." The following is an extract from another of Sullivan's letters in which he gives his impressions of The Pirates. "The libretto", he says, "is ingenious, clever, wonderfully funny in parts, and sometimes brilliant in dialogue, beautifully written for music, as is all Gilbert does, and all the action and business perfect. The music is infinitely superior in every way to Pinafore — 'tunier' and more developed, of a higher class altogether. I think in time it will be more popular".
The music of the opera is as Sullivan described it, "strikingly tuneful and catching." On its first production in London the opera ran for over 360 performances.
Sasha Regan founded the Union Theatre in 1998, converting a derelict paper warehouse into a studio theatre with bar. In 2008 The Union won Best Up-and-Coming Studio at the The Peter Brook, Empty Space Awards and was again nominated for the Empty Space, Peter Brook Award in 2010, 2013 and 2014. The Union was awarded Fringe Venue of The Year, 2013 at The Stage 100 Awards.
Theatre directing credits include: We’re all doing Time, Chelinot, Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret, Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, the London Stage Premier of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Pipe Dream, Love Sory and Whistle Down the Wind.
Sasha's All-Male The Pirates of Penzance won the Whatsonstage Award for Best Off West End Production in 2010. This production transferred to Wilton’s Music Hall, London then moved to The Rose Theatre in Kingston. In 2012, Pirates completed a tour of Australia, including a month’s run at The Sydney Theatre. Her subsequent All-Male productions include: Iolanthe (Union Theatre/Wilton's Music Hall), Patience (Union Theatre) and most recently a new production of H.M.S. Pinafore (Union Theatre and UK Tour).
Sasha was awarded the Stage One Bursary for New Producers in 2010 and has been nominated for Best Artistic Director for two years running in the Off West End Awards. In 2014 Sasha was named Best Producer at the Off West End Awards.
Lizzi Gee is one of the West End’s Leading choreographers.
Her choreography credits include: Rocket to the Moon - National Theatre , Love Story - Duchess Theatre, Onassis (starring Robert Lindsay) –Novello Theatre, Goodnight Mr Tom- Chichester/UK Tour, Buddy 2011 UK Tour, Vernon God Little - Young Vic, All Male Pirates of Penzance – Union Theatre/Wilton’s Music Hall, and Kingston Rose, Australia 2012, (Winner of Best off West End Production Whatsonstage awards), Babes In Arms – Union Theatre (nomination for Best ‘Off West End’ Choreographer 2012) Daddy Cool- Shaftsbury Theatre, Sunshine On Leith - Dundee Rep/UK tour, (TMA Award for Best Musical), Billy Elliot (Tap coach and resident choreographer), Snoopy the Musical- New Players, Oliver, The Sound of Music &Wizard of Oz (all in Cyprus), Hair (Frankfurt),
Movement for Elvis on ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ – Noel Coward Theatre, Dick Whittington (Northampton), Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, (Wolverhampton)
Whatsonstage Awards Ceremony 2011/2012 -Prince of Wales , Children of Eden Concert –Prince Of Wales, 42nd Street (Mountview) , Grease (Arts Educational)
Tap Choreographer for London Studio Centre’s Jazz Company – 2006-2010, and Millennium Performing Arts.
Guest workshops in Musical theatre and Dance- Cyprus and Malta
TV credits include: Children’s Baftas, Channel 4’s Fit Farm, ITV’s Feelgood Factor, The Legend of Dick and Dom, Diddy Movies and BBC’s ‘The Big Performance’ with Gareth Malone.
Jack will graduate from The Guildhall School later this year.
He is the winner of the 2014 Association of Lighting Designers ETC Award for Lighting Design.
Designs include: Wild World’s (Vault Festival); The Boy’s Upstairs & Bathhouse (Above The Stag); The Addams Family Musical (Bird College); Muswell Hill (The Park Theatre); Grim - The Musical (Charing Cross Theatre & The Rose Theatre); Misalliance (Tabbard Theatre); Hamlet (Riverside Studios); Henry V & True Dare Kiss (Guildhall School); Richard III (Upstairs at The Gatehouse); Passing By (Tristan Bates theatre); Titus Andronicus (The Arcola Theatre); Armstrongs’ War (The Finborough Theatre).
Assisting work includes: The Father (Trafalgar Studios); Carthage (The Finborough Theatre) Cinderella (Theatre Royal Drury Lane) Thark (The Park Theatre) Even Stillness (The Soho Theatre) and for Patrick Woodroffe, for the London 2012 Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Adam started his work as a freelance casting director and project manager for the company Mad Dog Casting. Work including; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, W.E. directed by Madonna and the Tim Burton feature film Dark Shadows. Also during this time, Adam worked on several ITV pilots and game shows, such as; Who Dares Sings and Take Me Out. Theatre casting has included: Up4aMeet? at the Waterloo East Theatre, which was revived for a UK Tour in 2013 starring Big Brother legend Nikki Grahame and X Factor star Lloyd Daniels. For Morphic Graffiti; Jekyll and Hyde the musical, and recently for Pinot Productions, their debut production of I Love You Because.
For The Union Theatre: Sasha Regan’s All-male production of Patience; Babes in Arms; Chess (which was nominated for Best Musical Revival at the WhatsOnStage Awards 2014); Darling of the Day – European Premiere; On a Clear Day You Can See Forever; The Boys From Syracuse; the London Premiere of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Pipe Dream; the Noel Coward musical comedy Ace Of Clubs and most recently the dreaming; Love Story and Girlfriends.
For Regan De Wynter productions: Sasha Regan’s All-male production of The Pirates of Penzance, which played The Hackney Empire prior to an Australian tour, culminating in performances at The Sydney Theatre.
Further work includes: additional casting for Spooky Noises – a demo recording of a new musical; The Last Ever Musical workshop and Between Empires – a new musical written and produced by Morgan Mackintosh and Orlando Simon, which workshopped in London prior to a run at the Edinburgh Festival.
Adam is also the UK casting consultant for Icon People, a production company based and operating in Tallinn, Estonia. Recent works for Icon include; A corporate campaign for Siemens Medical Supplies and casting actors for an exhibition in Tallinn which displayed artifacts discovered within the remains of the RMS Titanic.
For more information visit www.adambrahamcasting.co.uk
Regan De Wynter is a new producing company established in 2008. Ben De Wynter and Sasha Regan are both director/ producers who have worked together and independently for over twelve years. Most recently Regan De Wynter produced the all-male Pirates of Penzance which won Best Off-West End Production at The Whatsonstage Awards, 2010. It transferred to Wilton's Music Hall and, after selling out, transferred to The Rose Theatre, Kingston. They are looking forward to taking the production over to Australia in October 2012. Other credits include: Annie get Your Gun, The Pajama Game, the all-male Mikado and H.M.S Pinafore, Sweeney Todd, Company and Assassins (Best Production, Off-West End Awards 2011). Their critically acclaimed A Man of No Importance transferred to The Arts Theatre having been listed in the top five musicals in 2009, The Stage.
'The lovable spirit of D'Oyly Carte is everywhere ... how on earth does a man sing such accurate coloratura, so high with so little apparent effort ... the evening is full of delights.'
'As brilliant and heretical as Matthew Bourne's vision of Swan Lake ... It hits that perfect tone between silliness and sentimentality that this delightful operetta warrants. Pure joy.'
'It is an object lesson in the art of successful G&S: don't monkey around with the inherent silliness; instead take it seriously but not earnestly ... Immensely charming.'
'A coup ... the staging is ebullient and charming, choreography is riotously inventive ... this should leave you grinning like a Jolly Roger.'
'A delight from start to finish ... Brechtian theatre of the best kind, which keeps both cast and audience on their toes ... The chorus is tremendous. It fits this lovely old music hall like a glove.'
'Fun from high seas with perfect execution THIS British, all-male Pirates is a delight, a freshly scrubbed and very funny production in which the musical and verbal wit of Gilbert and Sullivan is privileged over everything else.'
'Sasha Regan's production of The Pirates of Penzance is a swashbuckling tour de force of sheer entertainment, the very model of a modern take on the all-time Gilbert & Sullivan favourite ... This production of The Pirates of Penzance is must-see theatre for all fans of Gilbert and Sullivan and enthusiastic theatre lovers.'
'An exuberant, engaging production…joyous - energetically staged and performed. Director Sasha Regan and musical director Christopher Mundy give free rein to the energy of the show and the audience can't help but be swept away with the fun...if you want a great evening of song and laughter, let yourself be taken captive by these pirates.'
'Lizzi Gee’s choreography is sensationally good, being, as it is, so sympathetically in-tune with Gilbert’s mischievous book. Michael England’s musical supervision is also beautifully judged and … I raise my Jolly Roger in honour of The Pirates Of Penzance. It is the very model of a modern presentation of G&S.'