Charles Court Opera emerge from lockdown!

London theatre news: Thursday 6 August 2020

Open Air Theatre - Opera

Charles Court Opera are back in action this month at The Malting’s Open Air Theatre Festival and Hever Festival.
Cast of H.M.S. Pinafore from Charles Court Opera

Image courtesy Charles Court Opera

Charles Court Opera - often described as 'The masters of G & S in small spaces' - are coming out of lockdown to present their Offie Best Opera award-winning version of H.M.S. Pinafore and 'A Summer's Evening of G & S'.

The former will be performed at The Malting's Open Air Theatre Festival on Monday 24 August while A Summer's Evening of G & S will be presented at Hever Festival on Sunday 23 August.

The shows should prove popular with G&S fans starved of live versions of their favourite music these past few months.

Charles Court Opera and Opera Holland Park's co-production of 'The Pirates of Penzance' had been due to open this week but, as with many other productions, has had to be postponed.

Additionally, at the beginning of lockdown, CCO's production of 'Iolanthe' was about to open at London's King's Head Theatre, where the scenery is still standing on the stage, waiting to be dusted off as soon as indoor performances are once more back on the theatrical menu.

Artistic Director of Charles Court Opera, 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."

H.M.S. Pinafore, which won Best Opera Production at the Offies after a sell-out run at the King's Head Theatre and a UK tour in 2019, will be in the Roman Theatre of St. Albans.

The 8-strong cast, led by Joseph Shovelton (D'Oyly Carte) as Sir Joseph Porter, is directed by John Savournin in a specially customised outdoor staging, with musical direction from David Eaton.

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."

The company's summer concert - 'A Summer's Evening of G & S' - will be presented at the Hever Festival on Sunday 23 August at 8pm.

With the beautiful backdrop of Hever Castle, a quintet of singers, including the company's artistic director John Savournin, Llio Evans, who sang in ENO's 'Iolanthe', and CCO regulars Meriel Cunningham, Matthew Kellett and Philip Lee, will perform a selection of songs, scenes and ensembles from the Savoy operas.


The earliest enduring success of Gilbert and Sullivan's famous collaboration, 'H.M.S Pinafore' is 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, to be enjoyed by all ages.

'A winning blend of Benny Hill knockabout, operatic parody and music hall song-and-dance.' Evening Standard


Meriel Cunningham

Jennie Jacobs

Matthew Kellett

Catrine Kirkman

Philip Lee

Matthew Palmer

Alys Roberts

Joseph Shovelton

Production Team

Director - John Savournin

Musical Director - David Eaton

Choreographer - Damian Czarnecki

Designer - Rachel Szmukler


The Roman Theatre of Verulamium

Bluehouse Hil

St Albans



Monday 24 August, 3pm and 6pm

90 minutes, without interval


From £10

Book here

A Summer's evening with Gilbert and Sullivan


The Festival Theatre at Hever Castle



Kent TN8 7NG


Sun 23 August 2020 20:00


Uncovered ticket £20

Uncovered Friends ticket £18

Discounted joint entry tickets adult £31.45, child £26.80

Book here

About London theatre news from ActDrop

We cover all kinds of news stories about theatre in the London area including items about West End, Fringe, Off West End and other venues, as well as new shows coming to the capital, theatre events like scratch nights, theatre festivals and other interesting theatre news that can't be so easily classified!

We'd love to hear from you if you have a news story we can share with theatre-goers.

Just use this form to contact us.

If you are a producer, PR agent or a representative of a theatre company, we have a special page just for you.

And thanks for visiting ActDrop!


Buy tickets for Back to the Future at the Adelphi Theatre