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Gilbert & Sullivan - The Pirates of Penzance / Jon English, Simon Gallaher, Helen Donaldson, Toni Lamond, Derek Metzger, Tim Tyler, Craig Schaffer

Jon English , Helen Donaldson , Craig Schaefer , Peter Butler  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Gilbert & Sullivan - The Pirates of Penzance / Jon English, Simon Gallaher, Helen Donaldson, Toni Lamond, Derek Metzger, Tim Tyler, Craig Schaffer + The Pirates of Penzance + Gilbert & Sullivan: Broadway Theatre Archive (The Pirates of Penzance / Kline, Ronstadt, Smith, Routledge, Delacorte Theater )
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jon English, Helen Donaldson, Toni Lamond, Derek Metzger, Tim Tyler
  • Directors: Craig Schaefer, Peter Butler
  • Writers: Melvyn Morrow, William S. Gilbert
  • Producers: Simon Gallaher
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G1ALGQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,304 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gilbert & Sullivan - The Pirates of Penzance / Jon English, Simon Gallaher, Helen Donaldson, Toni Lamond, Derek Metzger, Tim Tyler, Craig Schaffer" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Gilbert and Sullivan's hilarious comic operetta tells the story of the orphan Frederic, and his sudden twist of fate as an apprentice to a pirate.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Straight G&S - Not; A delight - Yes August 12, 2006
By Richard
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
You can tell from the overture that this will not be Pirates as written. Yes, most of the material is there, but it is re-orchestrated for synthesizer etc. And the cast appears to be VIPs from Austrailia's theater world rather than G&S singers. Rather like the Ronstat Kline US production. Most are amplified and that is at times distracting. Now if you can accept this you are in for a genuine delight. These folks are wonderful entertainers and the schticks flow fast and free. Not that the original is slighted. Look at it as a way to bring G&S up to date. Accept Australia's premise and prepare to be swept up in inspired lunacy.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully fun March 22, 2007
By Rinne
While this production may not quite stick to the 'spirit' that G&S intended, it is possibly one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Pirates is meant to be a comedy, and this makes it more so. It may possibly be that some of the humour will not translate to an international market (it's an Australian production), but a lot of it will.

All the singers are fantastic, possibly the weakest singer is Jon English (the Pirate King) but he makes up for any small inadequacies in his voice with the absolutely amazing energy of his performance. Ruth is played by a veteran of Australian stage, Toni Lamond.

The two best singers are Mabel and Frederick, as they should be.

If you want to watch a fun production, this is what you should watch.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must see dvd August 1, 2006
By tabitha
this rendition of the Pirates of Penzance is an excellant watch and has brought enjoyment and laughter to our entire family for a long time .We all have fond memories of watching it again and again and this from young ones you would never get to the opera let alone reportory. The tongue in cheek banter and the interaction with the conductor of the orchestra are hysterical so advice all to settle in for a good laugh and much mirth.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, frothy and silly January 14, 2007
If you are after traditional G&S, you've definitely come to the wrong place. This version is fun, frothy and silly, extensively "modernised", with little bits added and with electronic music. This production, with Jon English (Pirate King) and Simon Gallaher, first opened in Sydney in 1984 - just a fabulous night out - and personally I preferred it to what it had evolved to ten or so years later (the 1984 version launched the unknown Marina Prior, had a larger chorus of far more "normal" sisters, featured David Atkins as a sparklingly energetic and very tiny Sargeant, and June Bronhill - a real opera singer - as a delightful Ruth).

It's inevitable that some parts will not please everyone. Some changes enhance it, some seem like change for the sake of change... after all there ARE good reasons this show from the 1870s is still so loved! For example, I love the energy, enthusiasm and dancing ability of anything involving the Pirates and the men's chorus. On the other hand I can't stand the not-so-Fabulous-Singlettes, three singers who play "the ladies chorus" - if I was Frederic faced with a choice of marrying Ruth or going for the "sweet young things" then one of the most beautiful yearning tenor solos in the G&S lexicon would never have been written.

The strength of this production revolves around Frederic and the Pirate King (and that men's chorus!).

Simon Gallaher (Frederic) who I believe mounted this production (?) is a lovely Frederic - sings like an angel, looks young and innocent - just delightful. He plays the role "straight", and it works.

I really enjoy the performance of Jon English as the Pirate King. English (a former 70s rock star) has an awesome presence, helped by being extremely tall.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! What a stunner. October 16, 2007
By M. Bond
I first saw this production on Sky and was thrilled to get the D.V.D. from Amazon. Gilbert and Sullivan purists may hate this interpretation but in my opinion operetta is meant to be light hearted fun, and I think G & S would approve. When I want serious I view grand opera at Covent Garden.
The singing and acting were superb and the comedy sketches hillarious without being farcical.
Jon English, well what can I say? Totally brilliant!
More uplifting than Prozac, more fun than a night out with the girls, my perfect stay at home feel good D.V.D
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best Frederick; the rest: We-ll.......... September 21, 2006
This version of "Pirates" is worth the viewing if only to hear the tenor; fantastic control and amazing voice.

Most of the play is tossed away carelessly as the principles (Pirate King and & the Major General) never take what they are doing seriously and we are constantly aware that they are aware they are doing a play and are trying ever-so-hard to be funny.

The 3 Singlets, cast as the ("8, or 9, or 10 in all") General's daughters are talented singers, but their singing doesn't make up for the fact that they look more as if they should have been cast as Ruth(s) AND they chew (read devour) the scenery whenever they're on stage. Oh. Did I mention that for some inexplicable reason they found it necessary to add a rock n' roll beat to many of the songs?

Imagine "Pirates of Penzance" done almost completely for Burlesque and you get the overall impression. If one principle character was overplayed, it might have been cute - this many hammy over-the-top actors and it's just too much. The Pirate King is especially appealing and would have added a certain cache if some of the others had been restrained; notably the Major General who let no sight gag or mugging opportunity slip past him - even those that destroyed character, pace, and plot.

The less said about Ruth, the better. I suspect she is an Australian celebrity; I can't think she was chosen for her acting or singing. The Police Sergeant is a skilled contortionist.

HOWEVER - the saving grace of the piece are Frederick and Mabel. They are just too darn good to miss.

The scenes where the Singlets are restrained, where the Major General is GONE, or the Pirates are on alone work well.

If you are prepared for a bit of a roller-coaster ride, this show is worth watching. Just be prepared with the 'mute' or 'fast forward'.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories
Saw the live show in Australia . Had a copy in the form of a video with no machine to play it on. Always wanted to see it again. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Published 5 months ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, clean, entertainment.
Fit for all ages. Any-one who finds fault has forgotten the joy of pantomime. Jon English played an excellent pirate king, mark that 'Chief Clown. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Cobber Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars It is, it is a glorious thing to be a Pirate King!
No one is a better Pirate King than Jon English. :-) Good laughs, great songs, what more could one ask for?
Published 7 months ago by Rachael Travica-Dunstan
5.0 out of 5 stars Pirates a smash!
Wonderful production of this Gilbert & Sullivan favourite.
The singing from Helen Donaldson and Simon Gallaher in particular is a standout.
Published 8 months ago by John Bell
1.0 out of 5 stars Not at all happy
I have given it 1 star purely and simple, it's a great show. However, I was not at all happy to find that, before I could pick it up from the Royal Mail depot I had to pay a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by ADRIAN CLAY
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly funny
I saw Jon English performing this live a few years ago in Sydney and it was just as funny the second time on the DVD'
He is very droll in his humour and sometimes just his... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Val Magill
5.0 out of 5 stars Priates of Penzane a hit
I love this updated version of 'the Pirates of Penzance'. It is full of vitality, great singing, terrific (and sometimes terrible) humour and jokes and definitely doesn't take... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Liz Treloar
5.0 out of 5 stars Present
I bought this for my Mum for her birthday and she absolutely loves it. She is 83 old and when I asked her what she would like she said this - I was so lucky to find it on here and... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Judith Felton
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth the 5 star rating
Enjoyed this Australian stage show series ..very funny, Loved Jon English and Simon Gallaher in all three in the series.
Published 17 months ago by Margaret
5.0 out of 5 stars Pirates of Penzance
I'm a big fan of Jon English Gilbert and Sullivan. Bought this to replace some that were loaned and never returned. A musical that can be watched over and over. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Megsiemay
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