|Iolanthe > Reviews > No. 2 'Iolanthe' Company in Worcester
Berrow's Worcester Journal (Worcester, England), Saturday, March 10, 1883; pg. 4; Issue 9882.
A very cordial reception has been extended to "Iolanthe, or the Peer and the Peri," the fourth of the exceptionally successful series of comic operas which has been the issue of the singularly happy partnership existing between Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan.
Nobody looks for a probable story in a comic opera, but rather for a story approximating so closely upon the purely ridiculous that it will be acceptable from its very extravagance and improbability. Such a story is unfolded in "Iolanthe." There is not, it must be admitted, much plot in the piece. What little there is, however, is as humorous and whimsically absurd, and is elaborated with as much care as the plots of "Patience" and the "Pirates" Undoubtedly "Iolanthe" fully attains, if it does not transcend, the high standard of excellence which characterises the earlier productions of its authors, and the spectator must be very morbidly disposed, or lamentably deficient in the faculty of appreciation, if he cannot derive enjoyment from the scene that is charming and the stage that is gay, the refined, topsy-turvey humour of Mr. Gilbert — which shows itself in almost every line of the dialogue — and the pretty, soothing music supplied by his collaborateur.
Mr. D'Oyly Carte has so rigidly adhered to the principle of excluding incompetency from the opera companies which he sends into the provinces, and has secured the public confidence to such an extent, that when it is observed that one of his numerous companies are appearing in "Iolanthe," it is almost superfluous to add that the piece was produced with every attention to detail, that the scenic accessories were excellent, the dresses gorgeous, the chorus powerful, and the principal artists thoroughly competent to efficiently impersonate their respective characters. The second scene, showing the Palace-yard at Westminster and the Houses of Parliament as illuminated at night, is a very effective set. Throughout the music is sparkling and pleasant, and is a distinct advance upon that of "Patience."
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