HMS DINAFORE FEATURING THE PILATES OF PENZANCE (2009)
Portsmouth. The Dinafore is a 'saucy' beauty of a ship. Its proud crew are busy scrubbing her decks for the arrival of the First Lord of The Admiralty, Sir Joseph Porter KFC. Josephine, the Captain's daughter, is a right cracker. Not only do the entire crew want to give her a good seeing to, so does Sir Joseph. Unfortunately, she reckons they're a boring bunch of tossers although she quite likes Ralph, one of the deck hands, despite the problem he has been having with his lower back. I spot a plot device coming on. They maintain a secret relationship as Captain's daughters do not fraternise with mere sailors.
Further down the coast, a Pirate Gang are throwing a 21st birthday party for their young apprentice Frederic, now a fully fledged Pirate Instructor. The celebrations come to an abrupt end, however when Ruth, Frederic's nursemaid, explains he was apprenticed by mistake - pirates are orphans, she is short-sighted and misread his father's instructions that he be apprenticed as a Pilates Instructor. So he now has to devote himself to their extermination as well as demonstrating the importance of a maintaining a supple spine. In any case, they are not successful pirates as they allow their prey to go free if they too are orphans. Word of this has got about so captured ship's companies routinely claim to be orphans. Glumly, the Pirates depart and wait to be beaten up at some future date.
Frederic then spots dozens of girls on a picnic - daughters of Major General Stanley - and one of them, Maybelline, attempts to get to know him better - but he storms off in a huff as he doesn't think she can be true. At that point the Pirates return and grab a girl each. In the midst of the ensuing affray, their father, Major General Stanley arrives. Realising the danger, he lies to the Pirates that he is an orphan and consequently he and his daughters are released.
Back on the Dinafore, a Jazz Club is held in the Bar every Tuesday. Little Buttocks, a bum boat woman, is canoodling with the Captain but he explains that any liaison would be impossible due to her lowly social station. She then reveals that she was the Captain and Ralph's foster mother and that they were accidentally swapped at birth. So as Ralph is now captain and the Captain now a mere sailor, it would allow a marriage between all of them. On hearing this, Josephine completely freaks out at the prospect of marrying Ralph as part of the appeal for her was the thought of getting a bit of rough with someone she shouldn't. Consequently she becomes far more interested in Pirate Gangs as they seem a bit more exciting than some Mummy's boy with a bad back. So with the Captain and Little Buttocks otherwise engaged, she takes control of The Dinafore. Having fed Sunflower, the Dinafore's Chinese Cat, she promptly sets sail to try and get some action. Unfortunately, they get hopelessly lost at sea and encounter The Nikado somewhere near Gosport.
The Major General, meanwhile, despite feeling guilty because he lied about being an orphan, decides to summon the police to tackle the pirates. At the same time, Frederic, Ruth and the Pirate King are in a deep conversation in which it transpires that Frederic was apprenticed until his twenty first birthday, not his twenty first year. Being born on a leap day, this makes him five and therefore still a pirate. As a reborn pirate, he tells them of the Major General's lie. The other pirates are assembled and organise a confrontation on their mobiles. Despite the police using the controversial 'kettling' tactic, they are completely trounced.
Just as the Major General is about to be beheaded, the police appeal to the Pirates to yield in the name of Queen Victoria. Being patriotic they surrender immediately. Co-incidentally, the Dinafore arrives and the crew disembark and organise an illegal rave. Ruth reveals that pirates are all 'noblemen who have gone wrong' and as such, suitable sons in law for a Major General. The Police, respectful of rank, release them. The Major General's daughters grab a Pirate (now a Lord) each. Josephine, having seen that pirates are in fact a bunch of Daily Mail readers, decides that being a pirate isn't so great for a woman after all. Besides, seeing Frederick, now in his role as a Pilates Instructor and wearing clingy jogging bottoms, sets her off in funny ways and in an attempt to boost ratings fights Maybelline for him. As they struggle, their clothes rip and fall off. Ralph and Frederick run over to separate them, but are stopped by the others chanting Phwoar and Geddin. Maybelline decides that struggling with another woman is quite interesting, but that Ralph will do anyway. As this is a happy ending, Frederic applies his pilates skills and quickly sorts out Ralph's back. He is soon demonstrating his new found flexibility on Maybelline.
Everybody ends up marrying everybody else whilst Josephine and Frederic quietly slip away and try to get some peace of mind. They fail, of course, but at least we can use them rowing into the sunset as a closing scene. And everyone lived happily ever after. And it's all true.
1 A Text To Speech Converter Is Never Sick At Sea
2 Set Sail The Dinafore
3 Ralph & Josephine
4 The Pilates Of Penzance
6 Things Are Seldom What They Seem
7 The Dinafore Jazz Club
8 Cruising With The Dinafore
9 Pilates Stretch
10 Adrift At Sea
11 Dinafore Jam
12 Sunflower, The Dinafore's Chinese Cat
13 The Nikado
14 Hail, Poetry!
15 No Wonder My Roger Is So Jolly
16 Song Of Hope (Land Ahoy)
17 Into The Sunset
Released July 2009 on Nationsounds STN 13
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