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H.M.S. Pinafore - Charles Court Opera’s 10th Gilbert & Sullivan season at the King’s Head Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING nine critically-acclaimed, wildly popular seasons of Gilbert & Sullivan’s beloved operettas at the King’s Head Theatre, internationally-renowned chamber opera company Charles Court Opera’s humorous, heartfelt and high energy take on H.M.S. Pinafore will run from April 16 (previews from April 10) to May 11, 2019.

In the 15 years since the company was formed, Charles Court Opera have toured Gilbert & Sullivan productions across the UK and USA to some of the most high-profile venues and arts festivals and have built a reputation as ‘the masters of Gilbert & Sullivan in small spaces’ (Camden New Journal). In 2016, they became an Associate Company of King’s Head Theatre.

H.M.S. Pinafore is set on board a strictly hierarchical naval ship and satirises the rigid British class system. Josephine, the Captain’s daughter has fallen in love with a lowly sailor, Ralph Rackstraw, despite being promised to the First Lord of the Admiralty.

Featuring some of Sullivan’s best loved music, including I am the Monarch of the sea and He is an Englishman, audiences can expect an evening of rollicking choruses and tender tunes imbued with unique wit and infectious energy in a show suitable for all ages, that harks back to the golden age of technicolour.

Director John Savournin said: “I’m delighted to bring our visually explosive and playfully joyous production of H.M.S. Pinafore, in our 10th Gilbert & Sullivan season, to King’s Head Theatre. In an age where British class divisions seem more entrenched than ever, Gilbert & Sullivan’s witty satire is not only superb entertainment, it’s incredibly relevant to the times in which we live.”

H.M.S. Pinafore has musical direction by David Eaton, choreography by Damian Czarnecki, set and costume design by Rachel Szmukler and lighting design by Ian Wilson.

Times: Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7pm; Sundays (and Saturday, May 11) at 3pm.

Running Time: 120 minutes (including 15 minute interval).

To book tickets, call 0207 226 8561 or visit

A new English version of Carmen by Ashley Pearson and Mary Franklin runs at the King’s Head Theatre until March 9. Also at the King’s Head: Gigglemug Theatre’s Timpson: The Musical (February 18 to March 8, 2019).