This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows
Opened 11 February 2008, Closed 16 February 2008 at the Gielgud Theatre in London
The Carl Rosa Opera Company present the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Iolanthe in London featuring Maria Ewing and Steven Page for a strictly limited season of just eight performances.
This whimsical story of Parliament, where Peers and fairies are locked in legislative combat, provided Gilbert a perfect canvas on which to draw his topsy turvy world and allowed Sullivan to write some of his most subtle and sublime music. Iolanthe is banished for marrying a mortal and having his son, but when the young man wishes to marry, his fairy queen storms Wesminster to make him a Member of Parliament so he can win the girl with chaotic consequences! With memorable hits such as the Lord Chancellor and his 'Nightmare Song', the Wagnerian 'Queen of the Fairies' and a chorus of fairies and members of the House of Lords, this is one of the sharpest and most cutting of the Savoy operas.
The cast for Iolanthe includes Steven Page as the 'Lord Chancellor', Maria Ewing as the 'Queen of the Fairies', Sophie-Louise Dann as 'Iolanthe', Bruce Graham as 'Earl of Mountararat', Barry Clark as 'Earl Tolloller', Charlotte Page as 'Phyllis', Donald Maxwell as 'Private Willis' and Karl Diamond as 'Strephon'. It is directed and designed by Peter Mulloy with choreography by Steve Elias, lighting by Mark Doubleday and orchestra conducted by Richard Balcombe.
"The Lord Chancellor is Steven Page, the embodiment of the letter and spirit of G&S law: every focused baritonic note in place, every tongue twisted word carried, and those twitches of torment in the cheekbones... The show enables Maria Ewing to make her glorious return to the London stage after quite some absence. She is Queen of the Fairies, no less... the blurred contours of her voice suggest that she is either trying to sound like a Russian aristocrat, or simply attempting to slough off her American accent. Iolanthe herself, red-haired and twinkly, but without many consonants that carry, is played by Sophie-Louise Dann... Donald Maxwell's cameo Private Willis and the choreography of Steve Elias provide momentary distraction from the village-hall theatricals of Peter Mulloy's direction and the sturdy rumty-tum conducting of Richard Balcombe." The Times
"This second instalment in the Carl Rosa Company's short G&S season at the Gielgud almost as enjoyable as their Mikado. The trick once again is to trust the Savoyards absolutely and field a company who can play the style in that archly English manner, whose chorus of peers can advance on the audience and convincingly admonish them with the words: 'Bow, bow, ye lower middle classes.' Gilbert and Sullivan knew their audience and so does director and designer Peter Mulloy. It's that delicate balance between charm and satire." The Independent
Iolanthe in London at the Gielgud Theatre opened on 11 February 2008 and closed on 16 February 2008.