All aboard for G&S opera at Maltings Open Air Festival at St Albans’ Roman Theatre

Charles Court Opera's production of H.M.S. Pinafore can be seen at The Maltings Open Air Theatre Fes

Charles Court Opera's production of H.M.S. Pinafore can be seen at The Maltings Open Air Theatre Festival in the Roman Theatre in St Albans, Picture: Robert Workman - Credit: Robert Workman Photographer

A Gilbert & Sullivan opera has been added to The Maltings Open Air Theatre Festival programme.

The two-week festival opens at the Roman Theatre of Verulamium in St Albans this Friday.

Tickets are now on sale for two performances of H.M.S. Pinafore at the Roman heritage site.

Charles Court Opera (CCO) emerge from lockdown to present an outdoor staging of their Offie Best Opera award-winning production.

Adam Nichols, the artistic director of The Maltings Theatre, said: “I’m delighted to welcome the fabulous Charles Court Opera to add their customary wit and irreverence to our entertaining outdoor programme at The Maltings Open Air Theatre Festival.”

There will be two performances of the H.M.S. Pinafore on Monday, August 24, at 3pm and 6pm.

CCO are regarded as “the masters of G&S in small spaces”.

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Artistic director John Savournin said: “We are thrilled to be getting our singers and production teams back to work, and bringing some much-needed pleasure to audiences at this trying time.”

The eight-strong cast, led by Joseph Shovelton as Sir Joseph Porter, is directed by John Savournin in this specially customised outdoor staging, with musical direction from David Eaton.

H.M.S. Pinafore is the earliest enduring success of Gilbert and Sullivan’s famous collaboration and a firm favourite with audiences.

Gilbert uses the strictly hierarchical society of life on board the H.M.S. Pinafore to satirise the rigidity of the British class system, in this topsy-turvy tale of love levelling all ranks.

With many well-known songs, including I am the Monarch of the Sea, I’m called little Buttercup and He is an Englishman, this production promises 90 minutes of rollicking choruses and tender tunes imbued with the unique wit and infectious energy of a CCO production.

Charles Court Opera is one of the leading chamber opera and music theatre companies in the UK.

Appearing in H.M.S. Pinafore will be a cast of Meriel Cunningham, Jennie Jacobs, Matthew Kellett, Catrine Kirkman, Philip Lee, Matthew Palmer, Alys Roberts and Joseph Shovelton.

For tickets, visit

The performance will last 90 minutes without interval.