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Finborough Celebrates British Music Theatre

Wednesday, 14 March, 2012

Gilbert and Sullivan’s Grand Duke – only six performances

The Finborough Theatre’s ‘Celebrating British Music Theatre’ series continues with the first fully staged professional UK production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s final operetta, The Grand Duke, since the original 1896 production. It opens at the Finborough Theatre for a limited run of six Sundays and Mondays from Sunday, 1 April 2012.

In the Grand Duchy of Pfennig Halbpfennig, the theatrical troupe of Ernest Dummkopf is plotting a conspiracy to overthrow the tyrannical Grand Duke Rudolph. Ludwig, the troupe’s leading comedian, fights a number of “statutory duels” and finds himself taking the place and the title of the Grand Duke, but when legions of women arrive to claim Ludwig in marriage to become his Grand Duchess, including an indignant leading lady, an enormously wealthy old battleaxe, and even the Princess of Monte Carlo, how will matters resolve themselves?

With the aid of an eclectic array of travelling players and aristocrats, four weddings and enough sausage rolls to last several lifetimes, Gilbert and Sullivan’s final ‘Savoy Opera’ is full of Topsy Turvy paradoxes, legal conundrums and absurdities of etiquette. Far more than just a historical curiosity, The Grand Duke displays a much sharper satirical edge than any of Gilbert and Sullivan’s other works.

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