You are here: Archive Home > Gilbert > Letters > "The Mikado"
The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive   Gilbert's Letters to the Press

"The Mikado."  Daily Telegraph, May 4, 1907, p. 11.


SIR – I read in your issue of to-day that the Lord Chamberlain informed the secretary of the Middlesborough Amateur Operatic Society that the performance of "The Mikado" was prohibited, "owing to buffoonery in certain parts."

The piece has been leased for some years past to Mrs. D’Oyly Carte, who is under contract with me not to permit any deviation whatever from the dialogue and "business," as settled by me on the occasion of its original production at the Savoy Theatre.  If any "buffoonery" has crept into the piece during its long career in the provinces (which I have no reason to suppose to be the case), I submit that the Lord Chamberlain’s obvious course would have been to suppress such buffoonery, instead of slaughtering the play outright, and by so doing deprive the public of a very popular entertainment, and the producers (the representative of the late Sir Arthur Sullivan and myself) of a property valued at £10,000.

Admitting the alleged "buffoonery" for the sake of argument, why is the highly-popular music (which has certainly not been buffooned) forbidden to be played by regimental bands and on ships of war? – Your obedient servant,


May 3, 1907.

Archive Home | Gilbert | Letters

   Page modified 9 May 2013 Copyright 2013 © The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive All Rights Reserved.