Maverick director Kate Gaul makes her Hayes Theatre Co debut with this re-imagined, gender-bending, hyper-theatrical and kinky take on this Gilbert & Sullivan classic.

Starring Billie Palin, Katherine Allen, Tobias Cole, Rory O’Keefe, Thomas Campbell, Bobbie Jean Henning, Jermaine Chau, Sean Hall, Gavin Brown, Zach Selmes and Dominic Lui.

Mistaken identity, class warfare, sisters, sailors and the trickiest of tongue twisters abound in this nautical caper. The Hayes stage is a playground where performers sing, tell stories, play multiple musical instruments (all while changing not a word or note of Gilbert & Sullivan’s excellent work).

Gilbert and Sullivan were the undisputed masters of comic operetta, and the proud parents of the modern musical. Ample proof of their lasting brilliance is that their works are as in demand today as they were when created over a century ago, thanks to their ability to bend and adapt to modern eyes and ears.

Aboard the ship H.M.S. Pinafore, the captain’s daughter, Josephine has fallen in love with a lowly sailor, Ralph Rackstraw, despite her father’s plan to marry her to the First Lord of the Admiralty, Sir Joseph Porter. As the lovers lament their predicament and plan their escape, a surprise disclosure from an unlikely quarter shows that not all is at it seems.

“H. M. S. Pinafore answers the burning question of who, among equals, is the most equal and whether love can level ranks,” said director Kate Gaul, whose unique and fresh vision for Pinafore caught the eye of Hayes Theatre Co. “In this quirky chamber version, love is celebrated as the 21stcentury collides with the 19thcentury in unexpected ways, and the (mostly) young company re-claim G & S, test its boundaries and have a ship-load of fun.”

Featuring songs like I am the Monarch of the Sea, I’m Called Little Buttercup and He is an Englishman, H.M.S. Pinafore is a sharp and timeless satire of the social hierarchical system of the Victorian Age, promising a nautical flag dance with a message in semaphore; costumes, makeup and tattoos inspired by vintage post cards; silk cloth, knots, ropes, and a pulley or two – and at least one floatation device.

Source: Hayes Theatre