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

4.1 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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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.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jon English, Helen Donaldson, Toni Lamond, Derek Metzger, Tim Tyler
  • Directors: Craig Schaefer, Peter Butler
  • Writers: Melvyn Morrow, W.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 (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G1ALGQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,470 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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard on August 12, 2006
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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I saw this show live on multiple occasions as a kid in the mid-90s when my dad was stationed in Australia. We went as a family and enjoyed it so much. We were happy to get the show on VHS before we moved away. I'm so pleased to see this on DVD and it's definitely going to be a surprise Christmas gift for some of my family this year.

All the singing is terrific and there's a lot of silliness and slapstick. I love all the main characters, but I think Frederic has the best voice and the pirate king/head policeman are the most fun. I also think the cameramen did a good job capturing the scenes and side-gags going on, and the quality looks fine to me given how old it is. Having the live theater experience on DVD with the audience interaction is really neat as opposed to a movie which lacks that, and personally it takes me back to when I saw the show.

Given the modernization of this show, you could argue that a few small bits of this are PG. Overall I'd say it's great family fun.
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