Operetta meets pop-eretta in this modern retelling of the well-loved classic about false identities, hopeless love, and the misfortune of being born in a leap year. Mistakenly apprenticed to a pirate instead of a pilot as a child, Frederic is now 21 and free to roam the world. He becomes smitten with the daughter of a “Modern Major-General,” only to learn that he’s technically still a pirate because his birthday is February 29th. Peppered with the tongue-twisting songs that are the signature of Gilbert & Sullivan, this new Pirates of Penzance is the modern motherlode of musical melee. A smash-hit from Down Under.
Our story begins as Frederic, a young man with an unswerving sense of duty, is about to reach his 21st birthday and conclude his long apprenticeship to the infamous Pirates of Penzance. His good-hearted but hard-of-hearing nursemaid Ruth reveals that she has made a most disastrous mistake. When Frederic was just a boy she misunderstood her employer's directive and apprenticed him to a pirate instead of a pilot, as intended. Frederic tells the Pirate King (a dashing figure who never preys on orphans since he himself has had the misfortune to be one) that his freedom will be devoted to exterminating all pirates and that it would be better for the pirates to leave before midnight when his indentures are over. The pirates depart immediately and Frederic is left alone with Ruth, the only woman he has seen in years. Ruth pleads with Frederic to take her with him, but her case is lost when a bevy of very young, attractive women appear.
Frederic appeals to the girls to overlook his pirate apparel and his past profession, but no one will listen until the beauteous Mabel appears. Frederic and Mabel fall in love instantly. The pirates return and Mabel warns them that their actions will not go unpunished since her father, the guardian of all of these young ladies, holds the exalted rank of Major-General. The Major-General is forced to pretend that he is also an orphan in order to win their sympathy. Although he fools the Pirate King, the Major-General cannot rest easy with his troubled conscience.
Meanwhile, Frederic is launching an attack on the pirates with the cowardly assistance of the police. But Ruth and the Pirate King interrupt him with a most ingenious paradox— Frederic was born in leap year on the 29th of February and, in terms of actual birthdays, is only 5 instead of 21. Frederic, slave of duty that he is, rejoins his former associates, and the police are left to attack the pirates on their own.
The Pirates seize the Major-General, and the police are quickly defeated. But the Sergeant of Police charges them to yield 'in Queen Victoria's name,' and the pirates cannot resist this overpowering appeal.
Ruth then reveals that the pirates are actually 'noblemen who have gone wrong.' Mabel and Frederic are happily united forever with the unqualified blessings of the Major-General.
As dazzling... as the Best of Broadway
–Brisbane Courier Mail
The Pirate King
Samuel, his Lieutenant
Ruth, a Pirate Maid
Major-General Stanley's Daughters – The Fabulous Singlettes
Chorus – Pirates, Maidens
Essgee’s The Pirates of Penzance, Gilbert and Sullivan for the 21st Century, presented by arrangement with Steele Spring Stage Rights, on behalf of David Spicer Productions, representing Simon Gallaher and Essgee Entertainment.
Performance Royalties are based on theater particulars. Please fill out an application for a personalized quote.
Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement. To download the show rider for Essgee’s The Pirate’s of Penzance, click here.
Materials: Your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production. They can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while Digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.
The Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package for Essgee’s The Pirates of Penzance includes: