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Memorable tableaux abounded such as the Hollywoodesque bathing beauty blue-costumed fairies in the famous summons of Iolanthe, who rises glamorously on a central podium, the brilliant airplane formation of the fairies ready to fly with Strephon as pilot at the close of Act I, and the large open window into the House of Peers in Act II.
Ruth Peel in the title role of Grange Park Opera's 2003 production of 'Iolanthe'. Photo © Alastair Muir
Most outstanding of the generally admirable performances was that of Richard Suart's tongue tripping Lord Chancellor. His wily Scottish accent hinted at a cross between Lord Irvine and Gordon Brown, and he projected his patter songs, from the Act I 'When I went to the Bar' to the spine-chilling Act II Nightmare Song, in which bed clothes were interfered with by unseen fairies, with precise, punchy panache and not a lack of ad-libbing.
Richard Suart as Lord Chancellor in 'Iolanthe'. Photo © Alastair Muir
How one can sing while doing breast-stroke on a stage revolve is beyond the understanding of most, but Suart managed it in the propulsive 'Go Away Madam' with aplomb.
Lord Chancellor (Richard Suart) in bed with the fairies. Photo © Alastair Muir
Copyright © 30 July 2003
Malcolm Miller, London, UK