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The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of WA Presents Iolanthe

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by Vanessa (subscribe)
WeekendNotes Chief Editor / Chief Writer / PR & Communications.
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The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of WA is proudly presenting a special season of the classic madcap comedy Iolanthe this June.

Described as 'Peter Pan meets 'Yes Minister', this anticipated production will be directed by renowned comic actor, Geoff Kelso and feature a talented cast of 30 accompanied by an orchestra under the baton of musical director, Michael Brett.

This comic opera first delighted audiences in 1882 with its hilarious send-up of politics and politicians by a band of roguish fairies, and continues to resonate with audiences of any generation.

Gilbert & Sullivan Society's forthcoming production will bring this musical into the 21st Century!

Welcome to the magical world of the fairies in Gilbert and Sullivan's hilarious musical comedy about people and fairies falling in love with each other when they shouldn't. Especially if you're a politician and Member of the House of Lords!

You see, fairy law is very strict and the naughtiest fairy, Iolanthe, has been banished from fairyland for marrying a "mere" mortal and having a child who is, well... half and half. You can see his problem when he grows up and falls in love - as he does - as everyone does in Iolanthe - with the wrong one!

Love and laughter are eternal in a magical musical show from the masters of comedy and melody where no one and nothing are what they seem. Plots, tricks and 'fairy dust' abound in this delicious and timeless family entertainment, equal to the more famous Mikado and Pirates of Penzance, that shows us that love really does rule our lives.

Image by Michael Page. G&S WA Iolanthe 2009

President of the Society, Max Page said that he was thrilled that Kelso was on board with the production.

"The company is very excited that Geoff is bringing his madcap style of comic genius to the Gilbert and Sullivan brand," he said. "Iolanthe is a crazy magical world of love and politics with plots, twists and tricks at every turn, very much equal to The Mikado or The Pirates of Penzance. Audiences of all ages will enjoy the irreverent banter of this comic opera and with Geoff's involvement, it just got even funnier."

Kelso said he was excited by the challenge of refreshing an iconic work that is a masterpiece of comic ideas and timing.

"The genius of Gilbert & Sullivan is in their creative silliness of juxtaposing the worlds of politics and fairies and then making them collide," he said. "It's like 'Peter Pan' meets 'Yes Minister'. You know it's a farce and a fantasy but as you're' laughing, you're also thinking 'but wait a minute, it really is like that!' It's a very funny idea that I think audiences will especially enjoy with the backdrop of the forthcoming elections."

Tickets are now on sale for this strictly limited season of Iolanthe at Dolphin Theatre, University of Western Australia. Choose from the following performances: Evening shows 7.30pm. Matinees 2pm (4th and 11th June).

Tickets from $19.90 to $59.90 and can be purchased at or by phone on 6488 2440 (Mon - Fri 12-4pm).

For more information on this upcoming production, please visit

Founded in 1951, The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Western Australia has produced over 50 productions of Gilbert & Sullivan's extraordinary contribution to the musical theatre. Founded by Bernard Manning, the Society is supported by The Gilbert & Sullivan / AN Bullock Trust created in 1983 through the bequest of the late Arnold Bullock. Distinguished entertainer, Max Kay became the Patron of the Society after the late Sir Charles Court. Over seven decades, the Society has brought laughter and joy through the comedy and melody of WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan to generations of Western Australians.

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When: June 2 to 11, 2016
Where: Dolphin Theatre, The University of Western Australia
Cost: $19.90 to $59.90
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