Preposterous, outlandish, and ludicrously absurd, Oxford University’s Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s production of the comic opera Iolanthe is a hilariously entertaining show that will keep audiences in stitches from start to finish. Masterfully directed by Zoe Firth, the performance is a rollicking musical romp among the dimwitted and incompetent ruling class. Poking fun at British institutions such as the House of Lords and the pomposity of the Lord Chancellor, Iolanthe is a barrel of laughs and a wonderful spoof of the upper echelons of blueblood society.
The cast of Iolanthe is splendid. Combined with outstanding choral support, Phyllis (Chloe Fairbanks), the Fairy Queen (Emily Carslaw), Iolanthe (Lauren Au), Celia (Emily Brinson), and Leila (Catherine Scanlon) shine on stage. Will Tomsett is a perfect fit for the Lord Chancellor, regaled in his finery and pontificating with a swaggering sense of self-importance. Private Willis (Jordan Bell) and Strephon (Sam Lane) also provide robust vocals that spotlight their impressive talents.
Iolanthe has wonderful choreography, delightfully satirical dialogue, and plenty of boisterous music that make Gilbert & Sullivan’s whimsical and captivating story come alive. Its non-stop, tongue-in-cheek dialogue oozes throughout the entire performance. Combined with comic antics, the show is truly a sight to behold.
Those who are looking for an evening of levity will not be disappointed with Iolanthe. It promises to be one of the highlights of the Hilary term, delivering a powerful punch that will bring audiences to their feet and not out the door in hasty retreat. Clearly, when the worlds of fairies and mortals collide, there is magic in the air. Iolanthe is a winning production and a sure-fire success.
Iolanthe will be performed at St. John the Evangelist Church on Tuesday March 10 through Thursday March 12 at 7:30 PM. Tickets