WHO & WHY
workbox Opera, is an ad hoc group of singers, musicians and stage crew, etc. who have come together mount this production of The Pirates of Penzance, to raise money to help our friend and much loved colleague, Nicholas Sales.
On the 5th January 2019, whilst rehearsing for a concert, Nick suffered a ruptured aneurysm in his brain, which resulted in a devastating sub-arachnoid haemorrhage. His condition was critical for several months. He survived numerous life-threatening complications, and underwent several major brain surgeries. Nick’s family, and his partner, Sarah Helsby Hughes, have been with him constantly during his ordeal.
In June, Nick’s condition was stable enough for him to be moved to a rehabilitation unit in Tunstall. After months of immobility, and being unable to communicate verbally, Nick has been making great progress since September, has relearned to eat, and is regaining speech and some motor control, thanks to the incredible hard work of the rehab team, Nick’s family, Sarah, and of course, Nick himself.
Nick and Sarah were greatly missed at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival this summer, and it occurred to a group of their colleagues that, as 2020 is a leap year, a 'benefit' performance of The Pirates of Penzance on the 29th of February, celebrating Frederic’s 41st birthday, would be a great way to raise some money which may enable Nick, to access further therapies more and help with any other needs he might have after discharge from acute rehabilitation.
Once the idea was given the go-ahead by Sarah, we assembled a cast & artistic team, began looking for a venue, planning the production & making, borrowing, & collecting props, costumes & set.