CODA adds some swash and buckle to Gilbert & Sullivan

Alessandra Ludlam as Mabel and Vicky Watkins as Ruth at the bandstand in Wanlde Park for CODA’s production of The Pirates Of Penzance. Photo by Michael Hall.

CODA will be performing around the bandstand in Wandle Park next week in their fourth annual outdoor production – a boisterous new production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera The Pirates of Penzance.

The Pirates of Penzance is one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s best-known works, a firm audience favourite for more than a century, and here the Croydon Operatic and Dramatic Association will give it a lively 21st Century Croydon midsummer feel from July 26 to 29.

The show includes such classic songs as “I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major General”, “A Policeman’s Lot Is Not A Happy One” and “Poor Wandering One” (though anyone expecting a version of “Clair” may be disappointed). Suitable for all ages, this witty production is the ideal treat for a summer’s evening – with seating provided and a bar available.

The production is directed by Morven Rae and is musically directed by her husband Ian. It stars Chris Madden as Frederick, Alessandra Ludlum as Mabel, Peter Calver as Major-General Stanley, Bob Wilson as the Pirate King, Vicky Watkins as Ruth and Michael Hall as the Sergeant of Police.

CODA was founded in 1943, and is Croydon’s leading community theatre company, performing both musicals and plays to a professional standard. In the last few years, CODA have performed acclaimed versions of West Side Story, The Railway Children, The Wind In The Willows, Witness For The Prosecution, All That Fosse and Rope, alongside concerts and Old Time Music Halls.

CODA’s previous summer productions of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About Nothing and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance Of Being Earnest have all been performed in the round at Wandle Park’s bandstand, and have been so exceptionally well-attended and received that the company were delighted to be asked back to perform yet again.

The Pirates of Penzance has evening performances at 7.30pm and a matinee on Saturday July 29 at 2.30pm.

Tickets are £12 for adults and £11 for concessions, and may be booked by calling the CODA box office on 07858 879019, or online at

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