WORCESTER'S Gilbert and Sullivan Society took us to visit those famous soft-hearted pirates and cowardly police with great aplomb.

Frederic ends his apprenticeship with the pirates on reaching 21, but as he was born on February 29 is actually only five, so has to re-join them.

When he thinks he has left the band he meets and falls in love with Mabel.

He asks the police to help him catch the pirates, and they finally do so by appealing to their patriotism.

The young lovers, Frederic and Mabel, were played well by Michael Faulkner (though he was a somewhat older Frederic than usual), and Christine Davies, easily the best singer in the group, her performance of the difficult Poor Wand'ring One being a highlight of the show.

The orchestra made rather a hash of the National Anthem so I dreaded the music to come, but I need not have worried, as they played Sullivan's notes superbly.

Peter Key gave an excellent performance as the pirate king, and of special note was Robert Hanna as Major General Stanley.

He gave a good performance in his role, and I was impressed that though he "dried" during his patter song I am the very model of a modern major-general , he re-started and sang it to perfection.

The chorus were outstanding, and the policemen, led by their sergeant, Trevor Guest, were brilliant, quaking in their boots at the thought of confronting the pirates.

Denise Churchett directed this terrific production of the G&S classic. VJS