Next month Sasha Regan will bring Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, a fantastic tale of an unlikely love story between fairies and members of the House of Lords, to Brighton’s Theatre Royal. Regan’s production, which features an award winning all male cast, is her most critically acclaimed show that broke all box office records on its transfer to Wilton’s Music Hall in 2011.
Iolanthe, which premiered in 1882, was one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s first operas to show at The Savoy, as well as being the first production the world had ever seen entirely lit with electric lights. The original performance was met with incredible critical acclaim, with many concluding that Sir Arthur Sullivan’s musical work in the play was his best yet. The piece’s success continues to present day, with Iolanthe’s score universally considered as being Sullivan’s most beautiful work.
Regan brings this beautiful opera to Brighton with all the magic of it’s original performances; the opening sees torches flash as a group of naughty schoolboys enter an old theatre where they unearth a copy of Iolanthe. From here the topsy turvy tale of a forbidden love story between fairies and mortal members of the House of Lords. In it’s original production, the opera satirised many aspects of British Government, law and society, by portraying the characters who were members of the House of Lords to be dim-witted and privileged.
When Regan premiered her production of Iolanthe with Regan de Wynter Williams Productions in 2011 it was greeted with a host of Off West End Awards nominations including Best Male Performance, Best Director and Best Costume Design.
“This is a hilarious and tender piece that is simply a joy to direct” – Sasha Regan
Regan has said herself of the production that she “cant wait to revisit Iolanthe after nearly eight years. Mark Smith and I wanted to make a world or elegant and magical fairies, so Mark, as a deaf choreographer has incorporated sign language into all the movement […] this is a hilarious and tender piece that is simply a joy to direct”.
Iolanthe will be at Theatre Royal, Brighton from 19th – 23rd June. Tickets or call 0844 871 7650.