HMS Pinafore

Castle Hall, Hertford
Photos by Steve Beeston

H.M.S Pinafore, or "The Lass that loved a sailor", was produiced at the Opera Comique on Saturday, 25 May 1878, but received only very moderate praise in the Press and it seemed at first as if it were going to be a failure. Unfortunately, too, just at this crritical time a heatwave spread across England which adversly affected the takings to an alarking degree - theatres becaoem stiflingly hot and were the last places the public wished to visit at such a time.

However, by a stroke of good fortune, Sullivan played "Pinafore" at a Promenade Concert at Covent Garden and popularised it to such an extent that, the weatyher becoming cooler, people flocked to the Opera Comique to hear the real thing, and by the end of August "Pinafore" was the rage in London.

Gilbert, in the person of Sir Joseph Porter K.C.B, caricatures W.H.Smith, who was M.P for Westminster at that time - he represented Westminster from 1868 to 1885 - and had risen from a newsboy to be head of The Admiralty - as First Lord; a post offered to him by Disraelli which he held from 1877 to 1880. William Henry Smith, P.C., born 24 June 1825, an eminent statesman, married as her second husband, Emily, Viscountess Hambledon, and died 1891.


Sir Joseph PorterIan Prosser
Captain CorcoranJohn Tripp
Ralph RackstrawMick Wilson
Dick DeadeyeDaniel Goode
Boatswain's MateStephen Cooper
Carpenter's MateMaurice Newman
JosephineMelanie Tilbury
HebeAnne Warner
Little ButtercupMary Pick/Debbie Rudgley
Little ButtercupMary Pick/Debbie Rudgley


Production Co-ordinatorNik Mayes
Stage ManagerNik Mayes
Lighting DesignStewart Jordan
Lighting OperatorDonna Bull
Sound DesignAlex Dugdale
WardrobeDeidre Neagus
Make-upJackie Noble
PropertiesHazel Fisher, Eddy Fisher and Sue Richardson
Call DeskSue Hantke
Front Of House ManagerJill Reeves
Rehearsal PianistBarbara Manning
Business ManagerAllan Parker