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“Fallen Fairies,” by Mr. W.S. Gilbert and Edward German.
Produced at the Savoy Theatre on 15th December, 1909.

Playgoer and Society Illustrated vol. 1 no. 4 (Jan. 1910), p. 134.

Not quite!  In those two words may be found and answer to the question – is it as good as a Gilbert and Sullivan?  There were moments when one could almost imagine one was listening to the world-famous operas of that wonderful combination; there were moments when one could almost wish one were!  “Fallen Fairies” seemed to suffer from too much Gilbertism and too little Germanism.  Both author and composer have striven to outdo their past achievements, which is a pity, for we were quite satisfied with the old standards.  There was too much music, too much harmony, and not enough refrain.  The public clearly loves a catchy air, one that it can remember; and if the public goes to “Fallen Fairies” with the idea of hearing one or two it will come away sadly disappointed.  There was none of the old whimsicality in the lyrics.  It was humour, not exactly forced, but too subtle. Someone may point out that “Fallen Fairies” does not claim to be comic opera.  Nowhere in the advertisements or on the programme can be found any mention of the word “comic,” certainly, but who can associate Gilbert with a Savoy production and not take it for granted that it is meant to be a funny one? 

As to the players, Mr. C.H. Workman makes a lot more out of Lutin than he did on the first performance, and Miss Amy Evans has quite settled down to her part of the Fairy Queen, which was originally in the care of Miss Nancy McIntosh.  The performance of Miss Jessie Rose stood out as a very fine one.  Personally I should have arranged the cast differently had such an honour been put in my way.  But it wasn’t!  Messrs. Flemming and Sheffield made a couple of formidable Hunnish Knights, while the company was supported by one of the finest choruses ever put on the stage.


Transcribed by Arthur Robinson

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