Gilbert & Sullivan’s Nightmare

theSpace on the Mile – Space 2
Aug 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 (17:35)

In the past 6 months or so I find myself being sucked into the vortex that are the Savoy Operas, written & composed by that great Victorian cultural combo – Gilbert & Sullivan. I have even decided to compose a piece of musical theatre myself entitl’d the Savoyards, & I was overjoyed to see Blue Fire Theatre Company visiting Edinburgh touching the same subject.

I need something from Iolanthe that will really show off my gravitas

Gilbert & Sullivan’s Nightmare consists of a young flare-dripping pianist & a decrepit, dusty, rrrrrr-rolling, old Savoyard with delusions of grandeur as to his own standing in the D’Oyley Carte company. Understudy to the understudy is the truth of the matter, but he powers on thro several butcherings of the most classic G&S tunes. In-between there is some marvellously witty-pattering reminiscences, with an occasional bounceback from the pianist, that is dipped in great wax-vats of research & has come out with a lit wick on which we can penetrate deep into the heart of the Savoy Theatre, the Strand.

I can clear a room in mere seconds, such is my influence

As it progresses thro its 45 minutes, the play gets funnier & warmer & from the laughter of clear G&S acolytes in the audience, pushes all the right buttons. I’m nowhere near as steep’d in those guys as to the wonderfulness of G&S – but I’m getting there, & this play really helped fill out some of my imaginings as to the energy of the era. I am now looking very much forward to writing my own play on the subject in the Autumn.


Posted on August 19, 2022, in Fringe 2022. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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