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IOLANTHE
November 1986

"Iolanthe", or "The Peer and the Peri", opened at the Savoy Theatre on November 25, 1882, three nights after the final performance of Patience at the same theatre, and ran for 398 performances.

Gilbert had taken pot shots at the aristocracy before, but in this "fairy opera," the House of Lords is lampooned as a bastion of the ineffective, privileged and dim-witted. The political party system and other institutions also come in for a dose of satire. Yet, both author and composer managed to couch the criticism among such bouncy, amiable absurdities that it is all received as good fun.  

Both Gilbert and Sullivan were at the height of their creative powers in 1882, and many people feel that Iolanthe, their seventh work together, is the most perfect of their collaborations.  

Strephon, an Arcadian shepherd, wants to marry Phyllis, a Ward of Chancery. Phyllis does not know that Strephon is half fairy (his upper half — his legs are mortal!) and when she sees Strephon kissing a seemingly young woman, she assumes the worst. But her "rival" turns out to be none other than Strephon's own mother, Iolanthe, a fairy — fairies never grow old.  

But Phyllis' guardian, the Lord Chancellor, and half the peers in the House of Lords are sighing after her. Soon the peers and the fairies are virtually at war, and long friendships are nearly torn asunder. But all is happily sorted out, thanks to the "subtleties of the legal mind". 

(text from The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive)

thanks to George for the photographs

FOLLOW US

If you would like more information on any aspect of the society
• to perform
• to help out
• to see a show
please contact Hazel
phone: 01908 616213
email: information@saods.org.uk

We rehearse and perform in Stewartby. Early rehearsals are held at the church hall, later rehearsals and the performances are at Stewartby Village Hall.

Stewartby United Church Hall
Park Crescent. MK43 9NL

Stewartby Village Hall
Stewartby Way. MK43 9LX

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