Iolanthe at London Coliseum tickets
Iolanthe at London Coliseum tickets

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About the show

ENO’s remarkable season continues in the new year with Iolanthe, one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s most magical and exuberant satires, pitting the supernatural woodland forces of England against the peers of the realm. Directed by Cal McCrystal (One Man, Two Guvnors) this magnificently surreal opera arrives at the London Coliseum for a limited run 13th Feb - 7th Apr 2018.

Iolanthe tells the story of titular fairy who is banished from the fay for having fallen in love with a mortal man. Her son Strephon, half-fairy half-mortal, grows up and in turn falls in love with Phyllis, a shepherdess who is also a Ward in Chancery. Their love affair triggers a hilarious conflict between fairy folk and the peers of the realm who are all simultaneously vying for the attention of Phyllis.

Sullivan’s sublime score creates a beautiful backdrop this fanciful farce, whilst Gilbert not only targets the English gentry but conjures hilarious thinly veiled satires of Queen Victoria, John Brown (her personal servant and ‘close companion’), Lord Randolph Churchill (reformist Tory) and William Gladstone (Liberal PM of the day).

Director Cal McCrystal brings his characteristic irreverence and bold physical comedy to the boisterous piece. The cast is led by the inimitable young mezzo-soprano and ENO Harewood Artist Samantha Price, along with ENO favourites, including Andrew Shore as the Lord Chancellor.

The production offers a Gilbert & Sullivan classic, a hilarious and memorable collision of fantastical creatures and parliamentary foes. Don’t miss your chance to see this stunning satire.

Recommended for

Gilbert and Sullivan fans should not miss the opportunity to check out one of the pair’s most hysterical farces. Whilst those new to opera will adore this fantasy brimming full of whimsy, making it a fantastic introduction to the form.

Age Recommendations: No Children Under 5 years

Dates and times

Running time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Opened: 13 Feb 2018
Booking from: 07 Apr 2018
Booking until: 07 Apr 2018

Location and map

London Coliseum
St Martin's Lane
London, WC2N 4ES

3 Reviews Add review

My first time at a Gilbert & Sullivan opera and an absolute delight. Loved every minute of it. Very satirical and self-aware. Brilliant. More

bryonyjameson 5"7, 120 reviews, 2 helpful votes

Iolanthe was only my third Gilbert & Sullivan experience but it exceeded all expectations. Not sure that the obvious double (almost... More

TwickenhamJohn 5' 11", 1 review, 0 helpful votes

Full of gimmicks. A cross between The Play that Goes Wrong and a bad panto. Too much mucking about really.

katsonstage 5'8", 150 reviews, 5 helpful votes