The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Western Australia

Costume Hire


'Peter Pan' meets 'Yes, Minister'
Kelso to bring madcap comedy to Gilbert and Sullivan

25 April 2016

Renowned comic actor, Geoff Kelso will direct Iolanthe for the Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s 2016 annual production presented at the Dolphin Theatre in June 2016.

The comic opera first delighted audiences in 1882 with its hilarious send-up of politics and politicians by a band of roguish fairies, and continues to resonate with audiences of any generation.

President of the Society, Max Page said that he was thrilled that Kelso was on board with the production.

“The company is very excited that Geoff is bringing his madcap style of comic genius to the Gilbert and Sullivan brand,” he said. “Iolanthe is a crazy magical world of love and politics with plots, twists and tricks at every turn, very much equal to The Mikado or The Pirates of Penzance. Audiences of all ages will enjoy the irreverent banter of this comic opera and with Geoff’s involvement, it just got even funnier.”

Kelso will direct a cast of 30 and is joined by musical director, Michael Brett in bringing the musical into the 21st Century. Kelso said he was excited by the challenge of refreshing an iconic work that is a masterpiece of comic ideas and timing.

“The genius of Gilbert & Sullivan is in their creative silliness of juxtaposing the worlds of politics and fairies and then making them collide,” he said. “It’s like ‘Peter Pan’ meets ‘Yes Minister’. You know it’s a farce and a fantasy but as you’re’ laughing, you’re also thinking ‘but wait a minute, it really is like that!’ It’s a very funny idea that I think audiences will especially enjoy with the backdrop of the forthcoming elections.”

Founded in 1951, The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Western Australia has produced over 50 productions of Gilbert & Sullivan’s extraordinary contribution to the musical theatre. Founded by Bernard Manning, the Society is supported by The Gilbert & Sullivan / AN Bullock Trust created in 1983 through the bequest of the late Arnold Bullock. Distinguished entertainer, Max Kay became the Patron of the Society after the late Sir Charles Court. Over seven decades, the Society has brought laughter and joy through the comedy and melody of WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan to generations of Western Australians.

All media enquiries: John Michael Swinbank 0414 743 418

Media release (PDF)