Strephon, a shepherd (the son of a Fairy, Iolanthe, and a mortal), is in love with Phyllis, a shepherdess. He wants to marry her, but, although Phyllis also loves Strephon, she has a ... See full summary »

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(libretto) (as William S. Gilbert)
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Derek Hammond-Stroud ...
Beverley Mills ...
Anne Collins ...
Queen of the Faries
Alexander Oliver ...
Kate Flowers ...
Thomas Hemsley ...
David Hillman ...
Pamela Field ...
Sandra Dugdale ...
Richard Van Allan ...
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Strephon, a shepherd (the son of a Fairy, Iolanthe, and a mortal), is in love with Phyllis, a shepherdess. He wants to marry her, but, although Phyllis also loves Strephon, she has a dilemma - she is so beautiful that all of the House of Lords, as well as her guardian, the Lord Chancellor, are also desirous of marrying her. There are many complications - including the peers being threatened by the Fairies - before a happy conclusion is reached by all. Written by David McAnally <D.McAnally@uq.net.au>

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Comedy | Musical

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The Peer and the Peri  »

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Version of Iolanthe (1980) See more »

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Intoxicating
18 June 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I always have loved Gilbert and Sullivan, for their wonderful, catchy music, memorable characters and witty lyrics and dialogues, who more than makes up for the occasionally daft stories. I found this D'Oyly Carte Iolanthe intoxicating, and one of the better D'Oyly Carte G&S productions alongside Cox and Box and Patience, better than HMS Pinafore, Pirates of Penzanze and Yeomen anyway.

Visually, it is quite charming. The costumes and sets are certainly handsome, and while not amazing the effects are better than average. Iolanthe rising from her watery sojourn is an effective touch. The choreography has some clumsy moments, but again some nice moments like the fairies with their wings out to dry and the fairy struggling to keep up with the others that add some light-hearted entertainment to the proceedings. The dialogue is suitably witty, the chorus apart from some flatness in the processional scene are well-balanced and pitched and not too static, the orchestra play stylistically and beautifully and the conducting not too rushed and dragging.

The performances are great. Alexander Oliver may turn some heads as Strephon, especially as it is a baritone role rather than a tenor role, but I found him quite fun, far better than his Frederick in Pirates of Penzanze. John Helmsley may lack a little bit of resonance for When Britain Really Ruled the Waves, but otherwise sings and characterises well. David Hillman is likewise excellent, and Derek Hammond-Stroud is an exemplary Lord Chancellor. Kate Flowers is a charming Phyllis, and Richard Van Allan's Willis luxurious casting. Anne Collins's Queen of the Fairies is superb. The little bits of business are never too overdone.

All in all, an intoxicating Iolanthe. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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