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Topsy-Turvy

  • Drama
  • Comedy
  • 1999
  • Mike Leigh
  • 153 mins
  • 12

Summary

Biographical comedy drama starring Jim Broadbent and Allan Corduner as comic-opera composers WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. After the relative failure of their latest work, Princess Ida, Gilbert and Sullivan clash over their next project and seem set to end their partnership - until Gilbert's wife persuades him to visit an exhibition of Japanese culture.

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Review

A star rating of 5 out of 5.

British operetta writers Gilbert and Sullivan are one of the most notable odd couples in showbusiness history. And, thankfully, this celebration of their collaborative genius from writer/director Mike Leigh does them proud in a way the dignified Victorian duo would have thought their right and proper due. The newly knighted Arthur Sullivan (played by Allan Corduner), a musician, lecher and dandy, meets his literary match in William Schwenck Gilbert (Jim Broadbent), whose taste for the absurd extends to his librettos. But Sullivan thinks he is better than the whimsical Gilbert, and demands to go solo to devote himself to more serious music. Leigh uses the construction of The Mikado - considered one of Gilbert and Sullivan's finest works - to show that the pair's seemingly casual virtuosity was actually painstaking craft. Aside from the size of their egos, the two men were very different, and Leigh skilfully draws us in, piecing together a picture of their talents with warmth and enthusiasm.

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Credits

Cast

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William Schwenck GilbertJim Broadbent
Arthur SullivanAllan Corduner
Richard TempleTimothy Spall
Lucy "Kitty" GilbertLesley Manville
Richard D'Oyly CarteRon Cook
Helen LenoirWendy Nottingham
Durward LelyKevin McKidd
Leonora BrahamShirley Henderson
Madame LeonAlison Steadman
LouisDexter Fletcher

Crew

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DirectorMike Leigh

Details

Theatrical distributor
Pathe Distribution Ltd
Released on
2000-02-18
Languages
English | German | Japanese | Italian | French
Guidance
Contains swearing and brief nudity.
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Colour
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