Ferrier Operatic Society

 
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IOLANTHE

24th-26th May 2018
Bob Hope Theatre, Wythfield Road, Eltham SE9 5TG



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Synopsis

This classic G&S opera tells the story of Iolanthe (a fairy), Strephon, her son (half a fairy), and his love, Phyllis, a ward of court, (not a fairy). Many years ago Iolanthe had broken fairy law by marrying a mortal. She was so popular that the usual death sentence was commuted to lifelong banishment, but has now been pardoned.

As you probably know, fairies never grow old, so when Phyllis discovers Strephon giving Iolanthe a hug, she refuses to believe it's his mother, much to the delight of the House of Lords, who to a man are also in love with Phyllis. Despairingly, she agrees to marry the 'richest and rankiest' of the lords, leaving them to decide which it should be.

Fortunately for Strephon he is able to enlist the aid of the Fairy Queen and her band, and they arrange for him to be sent into Parliament, with the happy ability to carry any measure he chooses. And he chooses to have the House of Lords elected by competitive examination, to the great consternation of the peers, led by the Lord Chancellor.

Phyllis is very unhappy – she doesn't like the two lords to whom she is engaged, and when Strephon tells her that his mother is a fairy, and he half a fairy, she confesses she would rather have half a mortal she does love than half a dozen she doesn't, and that in future she whenever she sees him embracing a young girl, she will know it is really an elderly relative. In that case, he says, I think we shall be very happy!

Meanwhile the Lord Chancellor, who is responsible for giving wards of court in marriage, is persuaded to award Phyllis to himself. On learning this, Iolanthe, who has been commissioned by Strephon to plead his cause, reveals herself as his long-lost wife, thus breaking her vow and invoking anew the wrath of the Fairy Queen.

All is saved, however, when the fairies reveal that they have all broken their vows and married the peers. Rather than slaughter the whole band, the Queen agrees to change the fairy law so that 'everyone who don't marry a mortal shall die', and in order to save herself she asks the sentry on duty, Private Willis, if he would like to become a fairy guardsman. He agrees 'to oblige a lady', and everyone now being paired off, and the peers being of 'no further use down here' as the peers are to recruited entirely from persons of intellect, off they all go to fairyland.
Click here to view the Audition Details

Cast List

Character Played By
The Lord Chancellor Mark Stannard 
Earl of Mountararat Stuart Pinel 
Earl Tolloller Andy Noakes 
Private Willis Richard Spencer 
Strephon  
Queen of the Fairies Jackie Mitchell 
Iolanthe Julie Hyland 
Celia Christine Truman 
Leila Sue Vernon 
Phyllis Corinna Renton 



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Footscray Road New Eltham SE9 3UL
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