| ABOUT IOLANTHE
AND THIS PRODUCTION.
In Iolanthe, Parliament and the Judiciary are joyfully lampooned by Gilbert in this farcical Comic Opera with echoes of Yes, Prime Minister. It pokes fun at authority figures hopelessly compromised by romantic entanglement, public gaffes and the pressures of keeping up political appearances. Gilbert’s knowing digs at the pitfalls of power mine a rich vein of humour with universal appeal.
The work was produced by Gilbert and Sullivan at the height of their collaborative powers and Sullivan’s memorable music very aptly captures the mood of Gilbert’s text, from exuberant pomp and circumstance through comic patter to tender and fetching appeal. Musical numbers such as the Nightmare Song, Tarantara! and When Britain Really Ruled the Waves are legend.
The work commences in an Arcadian scene with innocent young lovers but transfers to the halls of power where jealous rivalry, class prejudices and wilful misrepresentation are the order of the day.
The Queen Boadicea (Boudicca) monument at Westminster serves as a fitting reference to the powers unleashed when the unwary Lord Chancellor scorns a woman whom he has mistaken for a girls’ school-ma’am together with her “brood” of charges. Parliament is turned on its head and the traditional rules, alliances and privileges are broken. The Judiciary and legal profession are also taken for a ride through references to less desirable practices, antiquated laws and inconvenient strictures of law and propriety of which Gilbert, as a lawyer, had insight. His mastery of writing for this genre provides much hilarity and telling wit, and became his life's now immortal work.
The power of feminine appeal ultimately proves a stronger force than legal bars or affairs of state and the House of Lords succumbs in an exuberant fairy-tale ending.
This sparkling production of Iolanthe is directed by John Goddard and tours the lower North Island in June and July fully staged. The cast of 32 singers and dancers with 24 piece orchestra is conducted by Hugh McMillan; live music at its best, brought to you by the producers of the 2015 Gondoliers and 2016 Merry Widow tours. Choreographer Lia Purcell returns to set the Iolanthe movement and dance sequences:
FURTHER REFERENCE MATERIAL: - click on the following links
Proms 2000 Concert Performance: - A good rendition, music without dialogue, in the Albert Hall (of course).
BOOK NOW: - the following links give booking options and links to Box Offices and Ticketing Agencies:
Southward Theatre. Kapiti, Saturday 24 June 2:00pm & 7:30pm,
Royal Wanganui Opera House, Saturday 1 July, 7:30pm,
Wellington Opera House, Friday 14, Saturday 15 July, 7:30pm
Regent on Broadway, Palmerston North, Saturday 22 July 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Napier Municipal Theatre, 29 July, 4:00pm
Ticketing Options: A flexible range of concession pricing and seating reserve options provides wide choice and family and group friendly budget options. Concession pricing categories includes Seniors, Tertiary students and school-age. Seating reserve options are Premium, A-res, B-res, C-res.
Booking may be made on the Web through Ticketek or TicketDirect or at the box offices as shown. Ticket pricing, seating reserve allocations and other details can be viewed on this website via the links above . Note that additional charges may be applied by the ticketing agencies depending on the method of booking and payment.
Group discount of 10% is available for 5-seat bookings and at 10-up a further special deal also yields one free seat per ten paid for at the discounted rate. To secure group rate pricing it is necessary to contact by phone or in person at the booking office or ticketing agent.
Note that performances are at 7:30pm for all venues except Napier (4:00pm) and 2:00pm matinees are also available at Southward and Regent theatres.