THE THEATRES. Funny Folks 1882 December 2 8(419): 387 col. 3 [by "OUR CRANKISH CRITIC"]

    Sullivan has conquered again, and we are still under the "topsyturvydom" -inion of Gilbert. Iolanthe, or, the Peer and the Peri, is a success, though perhaps not so brillliant a one as was its immediate predecessor. But at any rate, Gilbert, who has been regarded as the genuine "P's at any price party" witness Pinfore, the Pirates, and Patience may triumphantly remark to the superstitious, "How's this for I?" and look back without regret at the discarded Perola as he listens to the plaudits bestowed on Iolanthe. The new opera shows no falling off in "Bab Ballad" -ish humour to coin a word and all good Liberals will especially enjoy its inverted view of the members of the Upper House, who make an Earl-y ap-Peer-ance in the piece, and are remorselessly "guyed" till the fall of the curtain.
    The fairy element introduced is perhaps necessary, but fairies are, after all, a gross myth, and Iolanthe is furnished with the only Grossmith audiences really care about in the person of George of that ilk, whose Lord Chancellor is deliciously funny. All the other Patience favourites also shine in appropriate characters, the gigantic Miss Alice Barnett making her usual "big" hit as the Fairy Queen. Iolanthe is splendidly mounted, and the excellent stage management testifies to the severity of Gilbertian discipline.

Funny Folks 1882 December 2 8(419): 386 col. 2


Air  Lord Chancellor's Song in "Iolanthe."
When I wrote for the stage as a very young man
    (Said I to myself  said I),
I'll work on a new and original plan
    (Said I to myself  said I):
I'll never assume that the dramatist's part
Is to hold up the mirror to Nature. My art
Shall be caricature not an accurate carte
    (Said I to myself  said I!)

I'll deal in distortion and trade on surprise
    (Said I to myself  said I),
From a Ballad by "Bab" something new I'll devise
    (Said I to myself  said I),
And the notes of friend Sullivan summoned in force,
Joined to wit of my own don't let's think of divorce
We'll delight the B.P. as a matter of course
    (Said I to myself  said I!)

Vicars, milkmaids, and pirates, a motley crew
    (Said I to myself  said I),
I'll mix as no other is able to do,
    (Said I to myself  said I).
Stir an æsthete well in, add of fairies a trace,
For policemen and peers in my hash find a place,
And a perfect success will result in each case
    (Said I to myself  said I!)

Thus with all that is probable war I will wage
    (Said I to myself  said I),
Until "Topsyturvyness" grows quite the rage
    (Said I to myself  said I),
As High Priest of the school I shall shine as a "star,"
While my catchwords are echoed now near and now far,
And so, my dear Gilbert, you know, there you are
    (Said I to myself  said I!)

Funny Folks 1882 December 2 8(419): 386 col. 4 LIGHT-HAIRED MAIDENS. The electrically-illuminated peris in Iolanthe


transcribed by Helga J. Perry, 24 September 2002