Andy Reed: IT Professional & Amateur Dramatics Enthusiast

//On Stage/Her Majestie's School Pinafore

HMS School Pinafore

Her Majestie's School Pinafore

The Little Theatre, Donnington, Shropshire

November 2007

Music by Arthur Sullivan
Original Libretto by WS Gilbert
New Material by David Irving & John Hurton


Background: Her Majestie's School Pinafore, founded in 1603 and steeped in tradition and class distinction, is strapped for cash. In order to secure funding it must take in pupils from Grimsdyke Comprehensive.

Act 1

 It is the first day of the school year. Two new fee-paying pupils are admitted by the matron (known as Mrs Bottomsup, for obvious reasons). Captain of all Sports, the popular charity boy Ralph Rackstraw, can't stop dreaming about Josephine, the school secretary. He knows that he's socially beneath her, but hopes that this won't be an obstacle. Corky, head boy, has other ideas. He is keen to see his sister marry Serge Oseff Pauta GCE, the new Hungarian headmaster. While persuading Josephine to forget Ralph, Corky is interrupted by the arrival of the Grimsdyke girls who soon make their presence felt. Serge Oseff now enters with Miss Phoebe Uptight, the new timid deputy head. He immediately boasts of his `credentials' and assures all that every pupil will be considered equal. Hearing this, Ralph convinces himself that Josephine will accept him. She doesn't. The rejected sportsman, laughed at by Dick, the surly caretaker, prepares to join the Foreign Legion. Happily Josephine changes her mind and agrees to meet him later in the pavilion.

Act 2

Corky is worried and wanders around the sports pavilion trying to find answers. Matron, in search of gin, chances upon him and adds her mystic musings to the mix. Before leaving, Corky sees Serge Oseff preparing for an evening of love with Josephine. Both exit as she enters, having received a note from the headmaster and knowing that Ralph is due shortly for their date. Corky gate-crashes Serge Oseff's courtship scene, much to his sister's relief. Finding the now happy Corky alone, Dick has some disturbing information concerning Josephine and Ralph. They hide and wait for the lovers. Not willing to miss the fun, the Pinafore and Grimsdyke pupils sneak in to lurk in the shadows. As the lovebirds prepare to enjoy themselves, Corky ruins the moment. The pupils spring forward to support Ralph, their favourite 'Englishman'. Corky is now heard to swear, much to everyone's disbelief, including Serge Oseff's. He sends Corky off in disgrace and enquires from Ralph as to what had caused the outburst. Learning that it was Ralph's love for Josephine, he too is sent packing. Only one person can put an end to this sorry mess. Matron must now step forward and confess her part in the drama. The situation is completely changed and Serge Oseff finds a new romance.

Rehearsal/Backstage Photographs:

Please click photos below to enlarge


The Production Team:

Directors - Cynthia Shaw
Musical Director - Richard Foxcroft
Rehearsal Pianists - Ann Jones, Richard Foxcroft, Bob Poole
Stage Manager & Scenic Artist - Roy Bird
Lighting & Sound - John Sutton, Sarah Jane Bennett
Properties - Judy Martin, Alan Shaw
Prompt - Maureen Cornick
Costumes - Cynthia Shaw, Carol Melhuish & Cast Members
Box Office - Denise Olenik, Jenny Oakey
Bar Manager - Pat Freeman

Further Acknowledgements

Backstage Refreshments - Maureen Bird
- Ian Martin
Type Setting - Alan Shaw

The Cast:

Serge Oseff Pauta GCE (New Hungarian Headmaster) - Andy Reed
'Corky' Corcoran (Head Boy) - Simon Phillips
Ralph Rackstraw (Captain of Sports) - Michael Rawlings
Dick Deadeye
(Caretaker) - Ian Martin
'Bobsy' Bobstay
(Prefect) - Bill Walton
Josephine Corcoran (Secretary) - Sue Rawlings
Phoebe Uptight (Deputy Head) - Vikki Lee
Mrs Cripps (Matron - Mrs Bottomsup) - Georgina Ryder


'Becksy'  - Rex Simpson
Tom Tucker - Tony Jones
Stewart Lee
Peter Holdway
John Belcher
Peter Bamford
Mary Lee
Mary Simpson
Jenny Phillips


Tracy - Zoe Hailey
Lesley Moore
Carol Robertson
Carol Melhuish
Sally Warren
Amanda Robertson
Verity Matthews
Emma Pritchard
Tammy Salt