Set in the 1880s, the story of how, during a creative dry spell, the partnership of the legendary musical/theatrical writers Gilbert and Sullivan almost dissolves, before they turn it all around and write the Mikado.
In a poor working class London home Penny's love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry, but when an unexpected tragedy occurs, they and their local community are brought together, and they rediscover their love.
After their production "Princess Ida" meets with less-than-stunning reviews, the relationship between Gilbert and Sullivan is strained to breaking. Their friends and associates attempt to get the two to work together again, which opens the way to "The Mikado," one of the duo's greatest successes. Written by
Steve Fenwick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Similarly, in the scene where Leonora Braham and Jessie Bond sing a short excerpt in their dressing room (ending in "he was a little boy") during an interlude of "The Sorceror", the song is from the Gilbert & Sullivan opera "Patience" ("Long years ago..."), sung by the characters Patience and Angela, which Leonora Braham and Jessie Bond had performed in the initial 1880 Opera Comique production. See more »
This well known quote from the film is a factual mistake: "If you wish to write a Grand Opera about a prostitute, dying of consumption in a garret, I suggest you contact Mr Ibsen in Oslo. I am sure he will be able to furnish you with something suitably dull". The city of Oslo got the name in 1925 - a long time after Ibsen's death in 1906. During Ibsen's lifetime, the capital of Norway was called Kristiania. See more »
[on Gilbert's mother]
She is a veritable gorgon.
She is indeed, and she has chosen her own path, and in so doing, she has turned her back on yourself and myself. And for that small mercy we should both of us be eternally grateful.
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Not being a big fan of opera (of the comedic variety or otherwise), I chose to watch this movie as a period piece, hoping to see a lot of eccentric characters putting on even more eccentric theatre. That was easy, since the trailer for the film points in that direction entirely.
What I didn't expect was a thoroughly entrancing inside view of the Victorian theatre. Not to mention comprehensive. Everyone is covered in this - from the stage boy through the chorus through the leads and producers and assistant directors. The telling of the complex relationships between the directors (Gilbert and Sullivan) and the leads is particularly poignant - whether dealing with the actors' considerable egos or their individual popularity among the chorus, nothing presented doesn't ring true.
I loved everything about this movie. It's a great story, told wonderfully by all involved. It is truly a film of much love and craft.
And I expect I'll be attending the next run of the Mikado next time it comes to town.
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