This wonderful production of Sasha Regan’s all-male Iolanthe is now in the final leg of its UK tour. As such, the cast – who, reviews have suggested, were excellent to begin with – have now matured into a perfect company, enchanting in both voice and movement.
If you can tear your eye away from the mayhem on stage, the surtitles for Iolanthe remind us of the utter brilliance, the absurdism, mad rhymes, unexpected neatness and damn sharp satire which WS Gilbert flung out like a literary Catherine-wheel. Gorgeous. I recant. I regret the years of avoiding G&S.
Performing at the theatre from 22 March, Charles Court Opera’s interpretation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic comedy masterpiece will be the company’s final production in the historic venue.
When you see around 200 different shows, you’re bound to come across a few duff ones, but I’m pleased to say that nearly all of the bad shows I saw can be found in this post.
What larks: For careful execution and straightforward fun, it is difficult to imagine many recent productions of Gilbert and Sullivan have beaten Cat-Like Tread’s The Sorcerer at Paradise in Augustines.
The adaption is set in a private school camping trip which I must admit, I did not realise until I read it in the programme. I feel the production was supposed to be contextualised within a certain setting, however, I felt it was staged rather randomly in a wood far away from any towns or villages.
Sasha Regan sets her Mikado in the tents around the camp fire of an English public school camping trip in the 1950s. Here, the bullied boy of the class falls asleep and dreams that his classmates and teachers have trotted off to Titipu, with the gentlemen of Japan.
This is not the best-known Savoy Opera, and (perhaps unfairly) was deemed a flop on first production, coming after the all-conquering Mikado. It tells of young farmer Robin Oakapple, who plans to wed sweet Rose Maybud – but is in reality Ruthven Murgatroyd, one of a family of ‘bad baronets’ who live under a witch’s curse, and must commit a crime daily or suffer death by torture.
Following the highly successful all-male tours of H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance, director Sasha Regan returns with the premiere of her new all-male staging of The Mikado – one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s most famous operettas.
Sugar-coated satire: Good satire never dies but is endlessly topical, as Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society prove in their production of The Gondoliers at Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre this week.
It’s Pinafore Captain, but not as we know it
Guest post from Vinca Russell:
This fringe, in amongst a host of new musicals and interpretations of hot Broadway shows, there are just two written by Gilbert and Sullivan.