Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe landed at Malvern Theatres courtesy of the National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company and it was a joy to behold.
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.
Of all of Sasha Regan’s all-male Gilbert and Sullivan productions, Iolanthe is the one which I remember most fondly so the news that it was the choice for this year’s revival for a UK tour left me tripping hither and thither in excitement.
Sasha Regan’s all-male Iolanthe is as camp as a flamingo in fishnets. And it works. Leaving the matinée even the most senior of Richmond’s citizens could be seen doing little skips and humming.
Before the curtain opened, we were entertained by the sarcasm and wit of Captain Shaw (Clive Mantle) who appeared as the resident Fireman, his job being to undo the pyrotechnical mayhem caused by the Queen of the Fairies’ wand.
Rejoice with me at the sheer breadth, energy and healthy eclecticism of it all – especially if you’re feeling gloomy about the arts and their future.
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.
Whilst The Mikado and Pirates of Penzance have had a number of recent and successful modern treatments, wresting the rest of the Gilbert and Sullivan canon from the dead hand of D’Oyly Carte and its historically reverential staging has proved more difficult, so Sasha Regan and her all-male company at the Union Theatre are to […]
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