Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Pirates of Penzance” as Want to Read:
The Pirates of Penzance
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Pirates of Penzance (The Savoy Operas #4)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  187 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The Pirates of Penzance, premiered in 1879, confirmed the comic genius of librettist W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan, following on the heels of their wildly successful H.M.S. Pinafore. Pirates invade the rocky coast of Cornwall in this topsy-turvy tale of love and duty, highlighted by the famous strains of "Poor Wandering One," "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Ma ...more
Published by LibraVox (first published 1879)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Pirates of Penzance, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Pirates of Penzance

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 333)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Killer Rabbit
Pirate, Major-General or Constable?
Gilbert and Sullivan penned this glorious romp. But what if they intended more than just to make us snigger. Is it possible that they also wished to show young audience members possible career paths? If so, here's a short quiz to help you choose:

1) How do you feel about orphans?
a. I be one.
b. I am willing to impersonate one.
c. They'll probably need protecting.

2) How do you feel about fair maidens?
a. Yes, I'll take one.
b. No, you can't have any of my daughters.
If, by some unlikely mishap, you don't already know The Pirates of Penzance, then try and put that right! It's still one of the funniest things of its kind ever done. Fredric's kind but rather deaf nursemaid was told to apprentice him to a pilot, misheard, and indentured him to a pirate instead. Now Fredric is 21, or so he thinks, and stuns the gang by telling them he's leaving. But he falls in love with the beautiful Mabel, who also happens to be one of the adopted daughters of the redoubtable ...more
Singing skill is required for Gilbert and Sullivan. Alas, I am tone deaf. I so wanted to be one of the sisters. Or a pirate, that would have been fun, too.

There's no objectivity here. I love this script unreservedly. I love the stage productions I've seen, and the film with Kevin Kline. Love, love, love: "with cat like tread/upon our prey we steal/in silence dread/our cautious way we feel/no sound at all/we scarcely speak a word/a fly's footfall would be distinctly heard."

Production company scri
Read as part of The Complete Plays of Gilbert and Sullivan on my Kindle as I watched (and listened) to it on video.

As I said on my review of H.M.S. Pinafore, I would never recommend reading these without watching or at least listening to the performance, as the songs are at the heart of Gilbert and Sullivan's operas. However, I often find it hard to tell what the words are so watching while having the text in front of me was a great help (especially in those cross-singing duets!).
Jessica Barkl
I've read and seen this play several times, but I re-read it and watched the movies again because I am thinking of producing this as the Summer Musical for Walla Walla in 2012. I really love this play and, I think, that the community will like it as well. I've been criticized the past three years I've been directing the summer musical for the genres I've been choosing. The community seems to want me to a classic. But, I can't do just any classic, and they've never done a Gilbert and Sullivan for ...more
This is hilarity at its best. I'm quite a theater buff, to the extent wading in the vast waters of script-writing myself, so this was food for my theater-loving soul. I adore it. I wish I would have read this years ago.

There are moments as a true bookworm reads where a smile will creep onto his face almost unconsciously--he can do nothing to contain it. This little play brought those smiles to my face countless times. The characters, the dialogue, and the songs! Oh, the songs! Hilarious. The Pir
just pure fun. listened to the LIBRIVOX collective presentation of this timeless item and am here to report that they have done a most worthy job!! well done, librivox.


second listen and just as much fun as the first time. well done, librivox. (monday 2 september 2013)
Karen Heart
The very talented people at made a fantastic, full cast, audio version of this play. You can find it here.
Did this show TWICE opps three times. Twice with the Victorian Lyric Opera Company (one was a weekend review of all GS works) and the other was with my high school. Great show.
Seen several productions of this. I've become, somewhat by accident, a bit of a G&S fan. My favourite show was probably a small cast jolly at the SJT in Scarborough.
It's been years since I've listened to this play or seen it on stage, but I do remember loving it. But, come on... PIRATES!
Gotta love the ridiculousness that is The Pirates of Penzance
I finally got a script!
yes. I was in it.
Colt Luedtke
Colt Luedtke marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2014
Lani marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2014
Kamran marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2014
Ian added it
Nov 14, 2014
Dione Basseri
Dione Basseri marked it as to-read
Nov 12, 2014
Lisa marked it as to-read
Nov 11, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • West Side Story
  • Oklahoma!
  • Chicago   The Musical: Vocal Selections
  • A Chorus Line: The Complete Book of the Musical
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • What the Butler Saw
  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
  • My Fair Lady
  • 1776
  • Pippin
  • Deathtrap
  • The Real Inspector Hound
  • Gypsy
  • Black Comedy: A Comedy
  • Les Miserables: Sheet Music
  • The Fantasticks
  • Jerusalem
  • The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear
Sir William Schwenck Gilbert was an English dramatist, librettist, poet and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan, of which the most famous include H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and one of the most frequently performed works in the history of musical theatre, The Mikado. These, as well as most of their other ...more
More about W.S. Gilbert...
The Mikado The Complete Plays H.M.S. Pinafore Ruddigore Patience

Share This Book