Written at the height of their creative powers, Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Fairy Opera’ is regarded by many as their best collaboration.
Iolanthe sees the House of Lords (the bastion of ineffectiveness and privilege) and the political system come in for criticism, with the suggestion that the peerage should no longer be hereditary, but obtainable by ‘competitive examination’.
First performed in 1882, the topic is still very relevant today and shows how far (or not) we have come in 130 years!
Strephon, an Arcadian shepherd and son of Iolanthe, wants to marry Phyllis, a Ward of Chancery, but Phyllis’ guardian, the Lord Chancellor, and half the peers in the House of Lords are in love with her and are determined to prevent the marriage from taking place.
Strephon, however, has a secret: he is half a fairy and the Fairy Queen is a powerful enemy. Soon the Peers and the Fairies are at war…
You can read the review of Iolanthe in the York Press here:
Director – Lucy Thomson-Smith
Musical Director – Matthew Collins
The Lord Chancellor– Paul Blenkiron
Earl of Mountarrat – Mark Simmonds
Earl Tolloller – Stuart Roberts
Private Willis – Derek Thomson
Strephon – Alex Schofield
Queen of the Fairies – Maggy Lamb
Iolanthe – Lois Cross
Phyllis – Clare Rachel Greener
Leila – Karen Kitching
Celia – Georgie Martin
Fleta – Lisa Valentine
Chorus of Fairies
Dorrie Beckett, Jennifer Carter-Shaw, Julia Cormack, Wendy Jackson, Margaret Noblett, Isobel Thomson, Louise Wyatt
Chorus of Peers
James Hirst, Nigel Hobman, Derek Thomson, Samuel Valentine
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