"Precise patter aplenty"
-The Guardian-

"Reverential production"

"Bright, light entertainment"
-The Telegraph-

Sorry, The Pirates of Penzance closed on 25 Mar 2017

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About the show

Gilbert and Sullivan’s greatest opera, The Pirates of Penzance has returned to the London Coliseum in the first revival of the ENO production directed by Mike Leigh, which was received to great critical acclaim when it premiered in 2014. The opera runs for 16 performances, having began on 9th February 2017.

A swashbuckling farce full of brilliant wit and hilarity, The Pirates of Penzance follows a band of pirates, who take pity on orphans, who are actually peers of the realm. The 21-year-old, who has committed to putting them behind bars, is really only 5 years old. Add a bunch of useless policemen, and you have the recipe for one of the most entertaining operas ever.

The Pirates of Penzance is the perfect night out to the London Coliseum. The legendary score by Gilbert and Sullivan is packed full of unforgettable songs and brilliant melodies, including the Major-General’s well known tongue-twister, as well as the cowardly Sergeant’s ‘When a felon’s not engaged in his employment’.

Despite Gilbert and Sullivan producing many brilliant operas, The Pirates of Penzance was the fifth time they worked together and it is one of the best known and most loved. Countless modern productions have rejuvenated the classic opera over and over again, including the acclaimed 1981 Broadway production by Joseph Pap.

ENO favourite Andrew Shore will reprise his role as the Major-General, as well as John Tomlinson returning to the role of the Sergeant of Police. David Webb and Soraya Mafi sing the parts of Mabel and Fredrick and Gareth Jones takes his place as conductor.

When Mike Leigh’s production was first staged, it became the most successful opera productions to come out of the ENO, with over 75,000 people attending shows in the London Coliseum as well as live film screenings throughout the country. Mike Leigh was already one of the country’s most popular film directors, and firmly took his place in the opera world with this production.

Mike Leigh’s The Pirates of Penzance has returned to the London Coliseum to give this popular opera another limited run of 16 performances, having opened on 9th February 2017 and continuing until 25th March 2017.

Who Should See It?

Fans of Mike Leigh’s film work may want to take the opportunity to see the director put his hand at doing something completely different but equally as fantastic. As one of the funniest and most entertaining operas of the 20th century, it is also a perfect entry point to those who have never been to see an ENO production at the London Coliseum previously.

Playing at

London Coliseum
St Martin's Lane
Seating Plan

London Coliseum seating plan

Booking period

9th Feb 2017

21st May 2018

25th Mar 2017

Running time

2 hours 15 minutes


No under 5's admitted