Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Curiously, although lyricist William S. Gilbert (1836-1911) and composer Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) now claim legions of fans, they've also drawn just as many detractors, the majority of whom condemn their music as "overblown." This five-part miniseries not only falls into the former camp, but argues that the duo almost single-handedly paved the way for the development of 20th Century musical theater, and have inestimably influenced many neighboring theatrical forms. With observations from such contemporary admirers as Germaine Greer, Michael Ball, Sir Charles Mackerras and Sir Jonathan Miller, this program discusses events from the tumultuous lives of both artists - from their emergence under the aegis and tutelage of producer Richard D'Oyly Carte, who founded the Savoy Theatre in their honor, to their history-making collaborations on The Mikado and H.M.S. Pinafore, to a disagreement over a carpet that nearly brought their relationship to a permanent end. Longtime Gilbert and Sullivan actor and singer Simon Butteriss hosts.
collaborator, composer, duo, musical [play], partner, relationship