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Trivia / The Pirates of Penzance

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  • Accent Depundent: There is a rather lengthy joke in which different characters confuse the word "orphan" for the word "often." Needless to say, this doesn't come across in any accent besides very proper British English and some traditional Northeastern U.S. accents, and even then is a stretch.
  • Ashcan Copy: Pirates had its premiere on Broadway to secure American copyright. (This was before international copyright law.) But Gilbert & Sullivan still needed a British premiere for copyright back home, and couldn't be rehearsing two casts at once. Solution? Just before the Broadway opening, they had a (no doubt bewildered) touring company of H.M.S. Pinafore throw together a "British premiere" of Pirates, with one day's rehearsal, at an obscure theatre in an English seaside town.
  • Defictionalization: Since 1945, there have been real Pirates in Penzance...or, at least, a rugby team.
  • Filmed Stage Production: The Essgee Entertainment production was recorded on video and released for VHS in 1994. A DVD version came out in 2006.
  • Reality Subtext: During the runaway success of H.M.S. Pinafore, Gilbert & Sullivan had huge trouble with people pirating their works on the other side of the Atlantic. They arranged to have their next show produced simultaneously in America and in a small English village, in an attempt to get better legal protection from such pirates. What was that new show? Yep, you guessed it.
  • Trope Namer: