nick730 (nick730) wrote,

Theatre review: Iolanthe

Of my various theatre companions, Evil Alex is the hardest to match to potential shows - it's not easy finding anything frivolous enough for him. But I figured the Union's annual all-male Gilbert & Sullivan production, which has once again transferred to Wilton's Music Hall, might be a good bet - besides, the three regular readers may recall Wilton's is one of my favourite places in That London so it's always good to go back there. This year Sasha Regan directs Iolanthe, one of whose characters, Strephon (Louis Maskell - WOULD!) is half-human half-fairy; although the fact that he's also half-Conservative half-Liberal is more likely to be the topical reason for picking this particular show.

The story is of an altercation between the Queen of the Fairies and the House of Lords, and I preferred this to last year's Pirates; it's so utterly demented it suits the cross-dressing staging particularly well. It opens with lots of pretty boys in skimpy costumes running on and singing about their fairy ring - frankly it could be mistaken for Bel Ami: The Musical. Come to think of it I'm sure I recogn Alex and Andy were both a bit confused by the plot at the interval, although my limited knowledge of G&S makes me suspect this may be by the by. The men singing women's parts are all very good but we were all agreed that Alan Richardson as Phyllis is downright uncanny. Basically, the whole thing is completely mental. Bonus points to designer Stewart Charlesworth for the Fairy Queen's bonkers outfit, and to Alex Weatherhill for somehow pulling it off.

Iolanthe by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan is booking until the 7th of May at Wilton's Music Hall.
Tags: theatre, theatre reviews, wiltons

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