Fairy, fairy funny folk

The Tribune (NZ) - - OUT & ABOUT - RICHARD MAYS

One of the four most pop­u­lar works by Gil­bert and Sul­li­van, Iolan­the shows the Vic­to­rian light opera duo at the height of their cre­ative pow­ers.

Au­di­ences have the chance to ap­pre­ci­ate their droll wit and the ap­peal­ing mu­sic of the piece when the Welling­ton Gil­bert & Sul­li­van Light Opera pro­duc­tion has two per­for­mances in the Re­gent on Broad­way on Satur­day.

The com­pany’s Stu­art Gor­don said along with pok­ing the bo­rax at the fail­ings of politi­cians and guardians of the law, a few of the lines have been sea­soned with top­i­cal New Zealand ref­er­ences.

The story re­volves around a pair of young lovers, Strephon and Phyl­lis.

Thanks to fairy folk, Strephon en­ters Par­lia­ment with ex­tra­or­di­nary pow­ers. Le­gal tech­ni­cal­i­ties are used to ex­tri­cate ev­ery­one from the plot’s com­pro­mis­ing sit­u­a­tions and con­tra­dic­tions.

‘‘ Iolan­the has ex­traor­di­nar­ily good mu­sic, but a silly story built upon 19th cen­tury values and top­ics,’’ said di­rec­tor John God­dard.

The fully staged and elab­o­rately cos­tumed work has a cast of 32 singers and dancers and a 24-piece or­ches­tra.

Strephon is played by bari­tone An­drew Mankowski, newly ar­rived in New Zealand from War­saw, where he was a solo singer and dancer for the Pol­ish na­tional en­sem­ble, Ma­zowsze.

Book­ings for the 2pm mati­nee and 7.30pm show are through Ticket Di­rect.


An­drew Mankowski and Kar­ishma Thanawala as Strephon and Phyl­lis in ‘Iolan­the’.

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