'Topsy Turvy' is an insight into the lives of the late and great Gilbert and Sullivan, during the period after the release, and disappointing reception of, 'Princess Ida', and before the release of 'The Mikado'. At this time, both men were in states of disillusionment, with Sullivan wanting to write 'real' music, and Gilbert facing criticism for his 'topsy turvy' plots. The film shows the evolution of 'The Mikado' from a concept to a reality, until its eventual success.
The review of this Movie prepared by Soph
Gilbert and Sullivan, the great artistic partners, come to crisis when Sullivan refuses to score Gilbert's latest libretto, plotted with a formulaic "magic elixir." Gruffy Gilbert swallows his pride and ventures out into Knightsbridge. There he is inspired by the Japanese Village exposition. From this rises The Mikado, an "original Japanese opera," which re-energizes the partnership and sets the West End ablaze.
The review of this Movie prepared by M. Schreiner
A richly atmospheric film, wonderfully detailed rendering of the Victorian era and the backstage life. We see the creative process Gilbert and Sullivan go through to create their masterpiece, The Mikado, at the same time seeing what amkes each of these very different men tick.
The review of this Movie prepared by Mark Passerrello
Topsy-Turvy is a wonderful rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan, the famous British playwrights, putting on "The Mikado" at the Doyle Carte theatre. Very funny and inspiring, it is a wonderful movie for those interested in theatre and theatre history. I also found it very interesting that the director, Mike Leigh, did not have a script but simply had the actors research their character for about six months, and then had them improvise the entire movie with basic plot lines to fill.
The review of this Movie prepared by Michael Gookin
Writer-director Mike Leigh, better known for bleak stories of the British working classes, concocted a bittersweet confection about Gilbert and Sullivan. Their most recent show, "Princess Ida," has done lukewarm business, and composer Sullivan would really like to move on to serious music projects. When Gilbert's wife takes him to a Japanese exhibition, he has a brilliant idea for a new play (to be titled "The Mikado"). We see negotiations with actors, rehearsals, some of the numbers, as well as much backstage business (and problems). This is not just a valentine to the beloved G&S or the theater itself; it is a snapshot of life in all its joy and trials. Be prepared to settle in, though; the pace is leisurely.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus