|Iolanthe > Reviews > Original Run
From The Royal Cornwall Gazette, Falmouth Packet, Cornish Weekly News, & General Advertiser (Truro, England), Friday, December 8, 1882; pg. 4; Issue 4141.
Sullivan and Gilbert's new fairy opera at the Savoy is still being discussed. "Iolanthe" is funny, and it may also be described as farcical, but it is not a worthy successor to "Patience" or "Pinafore." The characters are all old, the old puppets which Mr. Gilbert has so often re-clothed.
As may be supposed, the first night's audience applauded vigorously, and encored many of the songs. It is the fashion, you know, for people to become ecstatic over everything that is written by Gilbert or composed by Sullivan. The lucky partners expect to make £7,000 or £8,000 between them out of "Iolanthe," but the piece is greatly inferior to its predecessors. The libretto is "frivolous," the music heavy and halting, and the characters from the idiotic Lord Chancellor to the fool of a sentry are as foolish and unlike reality as the author could fashion them.
The new piece will probably run until next Easter, but long before that period the Savoyards will be asking for the return of their beloved "Patience." Amongst the startling attractions of the forthcoming pantomimes the most startling is the "Electric Ballet." In this, at some of our theatres, the ladies of the ballet will have electric lights on their heads. This is turning the gas off with a vengeance. We shall next have our houses illuminated by living lights! The policemen will have to light our streets by reflection!
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