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The Pirates of Penzance.

This is about the film adaptation. For the original operetta see The Pirates of Penzance (operetta).

The Pirates of Penzance is a 1983 adaptation of the operetta of the same name.


Singing roles

  • Kevin Kline - The Pirate King
  • Angela Lansbury - Ruth
  • Linda Ronstadt - Mabel Stanley
  • George Rose - Major-General Stanley
  • Rex Smith - Frederic
  • Tony Azito - Police Sergeant
  • Stephen Hanan - Samuel (singing voice)
  • Alexandra Korey - Edith (singing voice)
  • Marcie Shaw - Kate (singing voice)

Non-singing roles

  • David Hatton - Samuel
  • Louise Gold - Edith
  • Teresa Codling - Kate
  • Tilly Vosburgh - Isabel


Frederic was sent in the care of his nursemaid, Ruth, to be apprenticed to a pilot. But she misunderstood her instructions, being hard of hearing, and apprenticed him instead to the Pirate King. Now turning 21 years old, his service is finished, so he decides to leave the Pirates of Penzance. Ruth wants him to take her with him, but he soon meets some young maidens, the daughters of Major-General Stanley, and realizes that Ruth is "plain and old". Frederic quickly falls in love with one of them, Mabel. He has a strong "sense of duty" and has vowed to lead a blameless life and to exterminate the pirates. Soon, however, the pirates return and seize the girls. Their father then arrives and lies to the pirates, telling them that he is an orphan. He knows that they are orphans themselves and never attack an orphan.

After the pirates leave, General Stanley wrestles with his conscience, having told a lie. Mabel and Frederic try to cheer him up, and Frederic has engaged the constabulary to help him defeat the pirates. The police arrive, but they turn out to be timid. Then the pirate king and Ruth find Frederic alone. They have reviewed the fine print on his apprenticeship indenture and have discovered that he is still a pirate because he was born in leap year on February 29, and he will not be out of his indentures to the pirates until his 21st birthday. Mabel agrees to wait for Frederic until then. The Police return and, hearing the pirates approach, they hide. The pirates arrive and seize the still guilt-ridden Major-General. The police are coaxed to battle the pirates, but they are defeated. However, the Sergeant of Police calls on the pirates to "yield in Queen Victoria's name." The pirates tearfully do so and release the Major-General, surrendering to the police. However, Ruth reveals that the pirates are all "noblemen who have gone wrong", and the Major-General pardons them and invites them to marry his daughters, as all ends happily.

Musical numbers

  • "Pour, oh Pour the Pirate Sherry" – Pirates and Samuel
  • "When Frederic Was a Little Lad" – Ruth
  • "Oh Better Far to Live and Die" – Pirate King
  • "Oh False One, You Have Deceived Me" – Frederic and Ruth
  • "Climbing Over Rocky Mountain" – Major General's Daughters
  • "Stop, Ladies, Pray" – Frederic and Daughters
  • "Oh Is There Not One Maiden Breast" – Frederic and Daughters
  • "Oh Sisters, Deaf to Pity's Name" – Mabel and Daughters
  • "Poor Wandering One" – Mabel and Daughters
  • "Stay, We Must Not Lose Our Senses" – Frederic, Daughters and Pirates
  • "Hold Monsters and I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" – Mabel, Major General and Chorus
  • "Act I Finale" – Company
  • "Oh Dry the Glistening Tear" – Mabel and Daughters
  • "When the Foeman Bares His Steel" – Sergeant of Police
  • "Now for the Pirate's Lair" – Frederic, King and Ruth
  • "When You Had Left Our Pirate Fold" – Ruth, King and Frederic
  • "My Eyes are Fully Open" – Frederic, Ruth and King
  • "Away, Away, My Heart's on Fire" – King, with Frederic and Ruth
  • "Stay, Frederic, Stay" – Mabel and Frederic
  • "Ah, Leave Me Not to Pine" – Mabel and Frederic
  • "Oh Here Is Love and Here Is Truth" – Mabel and Frederic
  • "No, I Am Brave+ and Sergeant, Approach" – Mabel, Police and Sergeant
  • "When a Felon's Not Engaged in His Employment" – Sergeant and Police
  • "A Rollicking Band of Pirates, We" – Sergeant, Pirates and Police
  • "With Cat Like Tread" – Pirates and Police
  • "Sighing Softly to the River" – Major-General and Men
  • "Act II Finale" – Company