G and S Pirates a huge success at Berko castle

ON what turned out to be the last day of summer weather Berkhamsted Castle, after a gap of fifteen years, became a wonderful venue once more when open-air theatre company Illyria brought their production of the Pirates of Penzance to town.

Saturday, 10th September 2011, 8:00 am

As Gilbert and Sullivan first timers my husband and I weren’t sure what to expect from this most famous of operettas.

More accustomed to the alternative music scene - him, folk rock concerts - me, we made sure we packed a beer or two, possibly more.

The rest of the audience, from what we could glean from the gentle hum of G and S chatter, seemed to know exactly what to expect.

They’d also packed incredible picnics. Selfridges food hall look out - those hampers could rival yours any day.

But we needn’t have worried, the seven amazing actors took on an operetta written for 20 with gusto and pulled it off superbly.

The larger-than-life characters, the complex, clever lyrics, the showing off, the props - the galleon was amazing - were all wonderful.

Even the 2143 to Euston, thundering through the nearby station failed to detract.

Can’t wait for the next production.