Iolanthe is a brilliantly funny, satirical fantasy. It’s a topsy-turvy worldview, typical of Gilbert & Sullivan, in which life in the fairy world and Parliament is reversed.
Phyllis and Strephon (half man, half-fairy) wish to marry, but as Phyllis is a ward of court she requires the Lord Chancellor’s permission. The Lord Chancellor, however, wants her for himself.
Sullivan’s ever-melodious score matches Gilbert’s libretto in satirising the vanities and egos of the the peers of the realm. And, just for good measure, Iolanthe targets the celebrity culture of the day. There are thinly disguised portraits of the good and the great of late Victorian society. There are side swipes at Queen Victoria, John Brown (her personal servant and ‘close companion’), Lord Randolph Churchill (reformist Tory) and William Gladstone (the serving Liberal PM).
Cal McCrystal returns to direct this successful production. Bringing his characteristic joyfully chaotic physical comedy, irreverence and brilliant wordplay. Outstanding former ENO Harewood Artist Samantha Price leads a cast of ENO favourites, including baritone Marcus Farnsworth as Strephon.
Book your opera tickets for ‘a glorious night of mayhem, madness and misunderstandings’ (What’s on Stage) at Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe.
‘This is truly a bring-the-whole-family Iolanthe for the 21st century. I loved it.' Daily Express
‘If you're not crying with laughter midway through the second act, visit your GP’ The Arts Desk
‘an all-round, knockout success’ The Financial Times
There is one interval.
London Coliseum, 33 St Martin's Lane, Westminster, London, WC2N 4ES
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London Coliseum, St. Martin's Lane, London WC 4ES