All-male HMS Pinafore review: Pure joy, I couldn't stop smiling – Do not miss

Josephine has been promised to pompous Admiralty boss Sir Joseph Porter by her father, played  by Juan Jackson with ringing tones as impressive as his muscles, and an irrepressibly saucy twinkle. The Captain, in turn, is loved by Little Buttercup (a playfully strapping Scott Armstrong), a buxom bumboat woman who boards large vessels to sell toiletries, treats and the like.

Sir Joseph arrives, escorted by his ever-present entourage of his sisters and his cousins and his aunts, brought to life with joyous abandon by cast members who switch back to swaggering sailors with the twitch of a neck scarf. They’re gloriously led by Cousin Hebe, played with ludicrously wonderful physical and facial comedy by Richard Russell Edwards.

Pinafore has sharply timeless points to make about class and Britishness but this exciting and inventive production is also refreshingly informed by the creators’ and cast’s own experiences of gender and sexuality. 


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