Queanbeyan Players’ first show for 2012 will be Gilbert and Sullivan’s
A typical G&S, replete with Sullivan’s glorious music and Gilbert’s
usual topsy-turvey plot.
Iolanthe is a fairy who commits the ultimate sin as far as fairies are
concerned - she marries a human. The punishment for this is usually
death, but everyone loved her so much that the Fairy Queen commuted
her sentence to life-long banishment, provided that she left her
husband and never spoke to him again. Twenty-five years have passed
since her banishment and the other fairies finally persuade the Queen
to pardon her. Iolanthe has been living in a stream to be near her son,
Strephon, a gardener in the park the fairies frequent. He was born
soon after Iolanthe left her husband, but his father does not know of
his existence. Strephon is in love with Phyllis, a ward in chancery (an
orphan under the guardianship of the Lord Chancellor). The Lord
Chancellor is furious that Phyllis should want to marry a mere
gardener. He would much rather that she marry a member of the
House of Lords (or perhaps even him!). Phyllis refuses her well-born
suitors until she catches Strephon with a very young woman. In vain
Strephon explains that Iolanthe is his mother. Phyllis rejects him and
agrees to marry one of the lords. Strephon calls on the Fairy Queen
for help and she sends him into parliament, to harass and thwart the
lords in all their legislative efforts. Of course, this being a G&S true
love will win out in the end – but with some very surprising twists for
Director: Janetta McRae
Musical Director: Jennifer Groom
Choreographer: Christina Phillip
Auditions: 26, 27 November 2011
Season: Bump-in 3 June. Bump-out 23 June 2012
Principal roles are listed below. Ages mentioned are “Stage ages”, the
age the character has to appear on stage. If it’s a singing role, vocal
range will be indicated plus the character’s main songs.
Iolanthe: Late teens to early twenties. Soprano or mezzo. “My Lord, a
suppliant at your feet I kneel”. Everyone’s favourite fairy. Iolanthe is
kind, wise and just all round nice.
The Lord Chancellor: 50+. Baritone. “Love unrequited” (also called
“The Nightmare Song”). This is the patter-song part, so excellent
rapid-fire diction is required. A somewhat pompous, but kindly
Strephon: 25. Tenor or light baritone. Strephon does not have a solo,
but sings two duets with Phyllis (“None shall part us” and “If we’re
weak enough to tarry”) and numerous ensembles. Confident, outgoing
Phyllis: 19. Soprano. “For riches and rank”. Obviously a vivacious
and attractive young woman (since the House of Lords is “sighing at
her feet”) but a bit spoiled.
The Fairy Queen: 40+. Mezzo. “Oh foolish fay”. A very regal and
Earl of Mountararat: 25 and upwards. Bass baritone. “When Britain
really ruled the waves”. One of the “richest and rankiest” of the House
of Lords. Very pompous and full of his own importance.
Earl Tolloller: 25 and upwards. Tenor. “Spurn not the nobly born”.
As rich, noble and pompous as Mountararat.
Celia: Late teens, early twenties. Soprano. One of the fairies. Solo
singing and dialogue.
Leila: Late teens, early twenties. Soprano or mezzo. One of the fairies.
Solo singing and dialogue.
Fleta: Late teens, early twenties. Soprano or mezzo. One of the fairies.
Solo singing and dialogue.
Private Willis: 25 and upwards. Bass. “When all night long”. A
member of the Grenadier Guards. Private Willis only appears in Act
Two, so he usually spends Act One disguised as a Peer.
As usual, we need a large chorus! They get lots to sing and do. Some
choruses are combined, some men & women sing separately.
Men: They are ALL noblemen, so will all get to wear the coronets, if
not the ermine! (Dukes, Marquises, Earls, Viscounts and Barons.)
Tenors (who get a surprising number of choruses in which they
actually sing the tune!) and basses.
Women: Fairies (age 10 and upwards) and fairy god-mothers.
Fabulous fairy gear and make-up! Sopranos One and Two.
Ladies, if you are a dancer, but not a singer, we would still welcome
you in the cast.
For auditions, if you are going for a principal role we would prefer that
you sang a suitable G&S number (not necessarily from “Iolanthe”).
Chorus – sing anything that you feel confident with and that shows off
your voice. Obviously not rock, but something more lyrical. You will
need to wear something comfortable to move in, so we can see your
Audition bookings open mid-November. Visit our web-site, read our
newsletter (Prologue) and watch the newspapers for details.