2012 – HMS Pinafore

HMS Pinafore poster
HMS Pinafore poster


The Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph Porter K.C.B.
Bobbie Greatorex
Captain Corcoran
Oliver Longstaff
Ralph Rackstraw
Anthony Farrimond
Dick Deadeye
Martin Whitaker
Bill Bobstay (Boatswain)
Gordon Fawcett
Bob Beckett (Carpenter)
Daniel Senior
Alison Davies
Little Buttercup
Maggie Lowe
Cousin Hebe
Jane Fawcett

Chorus of Sailors, Sisters, Cousins and Aunts

Helen Bolton, Peter Bolton, Nadine Briggs, Richard Briggs, Margaret Charlesworth, Gill Cunliffe, Clive Daniel, Amy Downes, Jenny Grove, Pauline Hepkin, Catherine Jackson, Tony Johnson, Tracy Laverick, Ernie Lowe, Kath Lowe, Mary-Jane Mullins, Barbara Nash, Simon Philips, Paul Ruddlesdin, Graham Robson, Jay Whittam, Jennifer Whittam, Liz Zserdicky

Wakefield Sea Cadets

Georgia Carter, Ione Carter, Liam Diamond, Robyn Knowles, Thomas Marsland, Leon Martin, Heather McKeith, Joshua Perree, Thomas Rowell, Logan Wade, Rayvan Wade, Beth Wallis

Production Team

Artistic Director
Graham Weston
Musical Director
James Newby
Norman Walker and Martin Whitaker
Lighting Design
Di Clough
Stage Crew
Keith Lowe and the Theatre Royal
SceneryWest Yorkshire Savoyards
Tadcaster Theatre Company, Ilkley Playhouse, St Austin’s Theatre, West Yorkshire Savoyards
Bobbie Greatorex
Jenny and Stuart Grove, Graham Weston, Halifax G&S Society
Artwork Designer
Ian Downes
Anthony Farrimond
Dignitaries Hosts
Mark Briggs
Front of House
Beryl Johnson

Production Photos


All hands on deck! The crew includes Captain Corcoran, his daughter Josephine, and Ralph, the lowly sailor whom she secretly loves. Little Buttercup sells trinkets to the sailors but what is her closely guarded secret? Sir Joseph Porter, the haughty First Lord of the Admiralty arrives with his crowd of admiring sisters, cousins and aunts. How will Josephine escape his amorous attentions? Meanwhile, Dick Deadeye delights in stirring up trouble for everyone.

Gilbert’s famous comedy combines these characters with some of Sullivan’s most popular songs including “A British Tar”. Wakefield Sea Cadets add extra authenticity with semaphore and whistling. HMS Pinafore is a firm favourite for all the family; a ship-shape show perfect for a Mother’s Day treat!

It was first performed professionally at the Opera-Comique Theatre in London on 25th May 1878, being conducted by Sullivan himself that evening. Notwithstanding a bleak first few weeks of low audiences, this mainly being due to a heatwave during May and June that year, by August there were full houses every night, and it ran continuously for 571 performances. HMS Pinafore became and remains on of the ‘Big Three’ comic operettas and has been staged throughout the English speaking world ever since.

Press cuttings

Cutting from The Yorkshire Post, 17th Feb 2012
Wakefield Express The Guide 09_03_2012


High spirits prevail aboard HMS Pinafore after the Cadet Parade. Buttercup comes aboard to sell her wares to the sailors, but Ralph Rackstraw’s mind is on Josephine. He is in love with her even though she is far above his station. Unaware of his affection for her, Josephine is in love with Ralph but pride prevents her from revealing this because of his low status.

Josephine is sought in marriage by Sir Joseph Porter whose advances she refuses to acknowledge. He arrives with his admiring crowd of sisters, cousins and aunts, to press his suit. Sir Joseph holds strong views about the treatment of sailors. He maintains that a British sailor is any man’s equal (excepting his own), and that they should be treated politely, without recourse to bad language or abuse. This inspires Ralph to declare his love to Josephine who soon forgets her pride and confesses her true feelings to him. Plans are quickly made to smuggle the couple ashore that night to be married.

That night, Captain Corcoran despairs because Sir Joseph is furious that Josephine will not marry him, and Buttercup confuses him further with a cryptic warning. The curmudgeonly Dick Deadeye betrays the elopement plan to the Captain and they catch the lovers as they leave. In fury, the Captain swears an oath at Ralph which is overheard by Sir Joseph. Appalled at such an outburst, he demands an explanation. Ralph only makes matters worse by revealing his love for Josephine and he is clapped in chains. Buttercup interrupts, but how can her confession save the day?

NODA Show Report

This was, as usual with this society a well produced production with many excellent performances Bobbie Greatorex as Sir Joseph Porter gave us his usual master class in this role and I was most impressed with Maggie Lowe as Little Buttercup. The chorus gave a fine singing contribution as did James Newby’s orchestra. The costumes and superb sets did much to enhance this production.

Chorus of Sailors, Sisters, Cousins and Aunts