In the corridors of power, everyone’s away with the fairies.
Iolanthe is a brilliantly funny 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 musical score matches Gilbert’s libretto in satirising the vanities and egos of 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 operetta, bringing his characteristic and 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) with the ENO production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe at the London Coliseum.
The role of Queen of the Fairies is supported by Kathryn Uhde, the role of Lord Chancellor is supported by Graham Chong-Brookman, and the Revival Lighting Designer is supported by Michael J Dyer JP.