Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE -

THIS year’s Fed­eral Elec­tion could not come at a bet­ter time for Man­ning-raised di­rec­tor Ge­off Kelso and The Gil­bert and Sul­li­van So­ci­ety of WA.

Their June sea­son of 1882 Gil­bert and Sul­li­van comic opera Iolanthe may be a farce, but the pro­duc­tion is also close to re­al­ity.

“The tim­ing is kind of per­fect given one of the lines in one of the songs is ‘When in that house MPs di­vide, if they’ve a brain and cere­bel­lum too, they’ve got to leave that brain out­side, and vote just as their lead­ers tell 'em to’,” Kelso said.

“Noth­ing’s changed. The script and song lyrics in Iolanthe still has rel­e­vance to to­day when talk­ing about politics and politi­cians.

“But it’s also got fab­u­lous mu­sic, it’s a lot of fun and there are fairies in it which is al­ways en­ter­tain­ing; peo­ple are fas­ci­nated by fairies and what they might get up to and in this case, they take over par­lia­ment.”

Kelso said the pro­duc­tion was a mu­si­cal tug-of-war be­tween a troupe of Fairies and the Peers of the House of Lords.

The Peers, in spite of their el­e­vated po­si­tion as Eng­land’s top politi­cians, fall hope­lessly in love with the Fairies and vice versa, but Fairies are not al­lowed to marry mor­tals.

“How this tricky le­gal love prob­lem is un­tan­gled is the hi­lar­i­ous ac­tion of Iolanthe,” he said.

“It’s a bit of re­lief from the po­lit­i­cal ma­chine that’s on our tele­vi­sions and ra­dios at the mo­ment; an an­ti­dote if you’re sick of the Fed­eral Elec­tion al­ready.”

Iolanthe will be the first pro­duc­tion Kelso has been in­volved in for The Gil­bert and Sul­li­van So­ci­ety of WA, hav­ing been kept up to date by old friend John Mil­son who di­rected sev­eral shows be­fore he died three years ago.

The NIDA and WA Screen Acad­emy-trained ac­tor’s re­sume in­cludes film and tele­vi­sion but mainly his big­gest love, the­atre.

“I love do­ing the­atre for the live na­ture of it,” he said.

“I also did a lot of stand up com­edy back in the 1980s and 90s in Syd­ney and Mel­bourne; it’s that in­stant in­ter­ac­tion and re­sponse which is such a buzz.

“Com­edy has al­ways been one of my fortes which is why I like the works of Gil­bert and Sul­li­van; they’re funny.

Tanya MacNaughton

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d454054

Iolanthe di­rec­tor Ge­off Kelso with wardrobe co-or­di­na­tor Veronica Hud­son.

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