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 and café. Most recently the Union was nominated for The Peter Brook, Empty Space Awards – Best Studio Space 2010. The Union did win the Best Up-and-coming Studio at the same Awards in 2008.
Sasha Regan, starting directing at University, where she gained a 2:1 in Drama. Her first play out of college was Can't Stand Up for Falling Down at the Birds Nest in Deptford. Theatre directing credits include; We're all doing Time (Critics Choice), Chelinot (Sunday Times Critics Choice), Kander & Ebb's Cabaret, Sweeney Todd (Critics Choice) and The Pirates of Penzance (Winner of the Whatsonstage Award, Best Off-West End Production, 2010). After performing at The Prince of Wales Theatre for the WhatsonStage.com Awards, the Pirates then transferred to the beautiful Wilton's Music Hall in the spring of 2010 and then moved to The Rose Theatre in Kingston. Pirates will be touring Australia this year, including a month's run at The Sydney Theatre. Sasha also worked with Chris O'Dowd at The British Independent Film Awards in the staging of the awards this year.
Other directing credits include Iolanthe (Critics Choice & Time Out's top 10 musicals of 2010). Iolanthe transferred to Wilton's Music Hall where the cast enjoyed a sold-out run and broke all Wilton's box office records from the previous 12 years. Patience (Critics Choice).
In 2010 Sasha was nominated as Best Director in the BroadwayWorld.com Awards, alongside directors of such notable shows such as, Legally Blonde, Priscilla, Love Never Dies, Sweet Charity and Hair.
When Sasha isn't directing she produces as one half of Regan De Wynter Productions. Their most recent successes have been The Baker's Wife with Michael Matus, Dames at Sea with Rosemary Ashe, Assassins which won Best Production at The Offies in 2011, Company, Absent Friends and A Man of No Importance, which transferred to The Arts Theatre in London's West End in February 2010.
Sasha won 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.
Sasha won Best Venue Programmer at The Fringe Report Awards 2012.
Sasha is a married working mum, with two daughters, Bea and Nellie Regan and is represented by Belfield and Ward.
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.
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 Theatergoers' Choice 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 (Critics Choice), The Pajama Game (Critics Choice), the all-male Mikado (Critics Choice) and H.M.S Pinafore, Sweeney Todd (Evening Standard and Time Out Critics Choice & Sunday Express Top 5), Company and Assassins (Critics Choice). 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. Both Regan De Wynter and The Union Theatre have been nominated for numerous Awards this year, The Peter Brook Empty Space Award for Best Studio, Best Venue, Director and Choreographer on Broadwayworld.com and Best Director, Best Production and Best Male Performance on offwestend.com
'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.'