The Pirates of Penzance
The Pirates of Penzance with a New twist!
A musical production came to ‘New’ for the first time in 2006. New College alumni, friends, the University community and general public attended New’s first Musical production The Pirates of Penzance. The event was attended by more than 750 people over four nights.
Each year New College residents produce a dramatic production in first session. Over the past few years these productions have been very successful and last year the decision was made to produce a musical for the first time. So the residents took on the task of producing The Pirates of Penzance. It was an exciting time in College seeing the musical take shape and there was no doubt that the final production was a great success.
Watch an excerpt (below) from the opening sequence of The Pirates of Penzance recorded live during one of the performances.
There was so much to enjoy about this musical – the music itself being performed by a 20 piece New College orchestra, the singing and performances of the 26 cast members, the choreography and acrobatics on stage, costume design, set design and of course the story as it is told by Gilbert and Sullivan. There were also more than 30 back stage crew and front of house team members who had been working very hard over the first 12 weeks of Session One.
Amongst the residents, and the audiences, there was a great sense of pride surrounding something that was special and unique in the College’s history. There were a number of quintessentially ‘New’ adaptations that added even more interest; for example, altering a song about Queen Victoria to a song about our ‘Dean’.
Alumnus Georgina Barratt-See in an email to New College summed up much of what many audience members felt:
“ I attended the production of Pirates of Penzance last night, and have never been so proud of New College and being an alumnus. The production was outstanding! The College spirit and sense of humour brought out the nuances of the musical, and it was evident how amazingly hard the group had worked. The enthusiasm and sheer joie de vivre, as well as the incredible detail and work that had gone into the choreography, the singing and the orchestral work shone through with amazing clarity. I was reminded and encouraged that the place I knew as an undergraduate as my home had produced such a fine, outstanding and commendable production, especially with the clever innovations to make the production entirely New College. Bravo! "