or, Gilbert and Sullivan Plunder'd

Source Material

Freely adapted from the operetta The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan


A band of pirates sack and loot a town on the Caribbean. On Frederic's 21st birthday, he becomes a full-blown member of the pirate band, and no longer an apprentice. His former nursemaid (and now pirate wench) Ruth reveals the secret of his apprenticeship-- that he was supposed to be apprenticed to a pilot but she was seduced by the Pirate King. Frederic renounces his allegiance as he feels it is his duty now to destroy them (and he is the slave of duty). Before going, the Pirate King warms him of the Curse that they lose their landlegs and must be pirates on land unless they marry a virgin. Frederic decides to marry Ruth, only to realize that after all those years on the ship, she is not a virgin. He runs into the jungle where he meets a bevy of beautiful dumb blonde maidens. Only their brunette, scientist sister Mabel offers him her hand. The Pirates return to collect their virgins, only to be stopped by the arrival of the Girl's father, the Governor of the Island. He tricks them by telling them that he is an orphan, and as is their creed (as they were all orphans themselves), they let them go and must return to the ship. Act 2 begins with Frederic rounding up a band of lackluster under-qualified natives to fight the pirates. Ruth and Pirate King tell Frederic of their discovery, that he was born on Feb. 29 so that while he is 21 years old, he's only had 5 birthdays and is therefore still apprenticed to their band. He rejoins the pirates, Mabel calls the "police" to order, a huge amount of swashbuckling, hijinks, and chandelier-swinging ensues, and eventually Mabel leads the daughters in revolutionarily *voting* to marry the pirates, because they are attractive and don't want to be pirates, and once married will no longer be pirates. The Governor realizes he can give them all jobs as the one thing they are qualified for is government. Everyone gets married.

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