THE RT. HON. SIR JOSEPH PORTER, K.C.B
Based firmly upon W.H.Smith (yes, that one!) who became the First Lord of the Admiralty or First Sea Lord in 1877 but had no naval experience! He is a high-ranking and pompous Victorian aristocrat who bought his way into government. Despite being the First Sea Lord, he knows next to nothing about ships and is really quite a twit. He believes strongly in the boundaries of social rank, and obsesses over propriety and tradition. He is accompanied everywhere he goes by a gaggle of his well-bred sisters, cousins, and aunts. He is engaged to Josephine, but when she eschews him in favour of marrying “a common sailor”, he instead marries his first cousin, Hebe, in the tradition of keeping aristocratic bloodlines pure. Sir Joseph is the classic comic baritone of the show, and sings the patter song “When I was a lad.” This role requires the actor to be brilliant at delivering comic lines and be capable of physical knockabout slapstick. This role also requires a very plummy OTT “public school” accent.