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ELT 38:2 1995 comments on the craft of directing from a playwright-director's perspective are muminating and are the words of one who truly learned the craft of acting first and who had great concern for his actors. All in all, this is a most useful biographical study which does advance our knowledge of the theatrical Pinero and his times. It is necessarily short on Pinero's personal life, but more than makes up for it in keeping the biographical record straight and calling into question several !inv érifiable anecdotes about him. It is a welcome addition to our knowledge of the English theatre in transition. John J. Conlon The University of Massachusetts, Boston Gilbert & Sullivan Gilbert and Sullivan: Interviews and Recollections. Harold Orel, ed. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1994. xviii + 214 pp. $29.95 IN GILBERT AND SULLIVAN: Interviews and Recollections, Harold Orel has gathered 44 first-person accounts of the lives, friendships , and careers of W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911) and Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900), whose comic operas delighted the English-speaking world during the last quarter of the nineteenth century and continue to do so one hundred years later. The collection is divided into three sections. They follow a helpful introduction in which Orel clarifies the fact—often overlooked—that both dramatist Gilbert and composer Sullivan were successful in their respective fields when they met in 1869, and that they continued their independent careers between 1871 and 1896 during which time their collaborative works appeared on London stages. Orel's introduction also includes brief biographical sketches of the two men. Several errors have crept into this usually reliable introduction, For instance, Sullivan's The Sapphire Necklace was not a musical comedy as stated on page xiii, but rather an opera; Cox and Box was not "F. C. Burnand's adaptation of John Maddison Morton's The Double-bedded Room (1834)" (xiv) but of his Box and Cox (1847) (which was in turn based in part on The Double-bedded Room [1843]); Sullivan's The Light of the World was not a collective name given to Sullivan's 47 additions to the Hymnal (xiv), but rather it was the name of one of Sullivan's most successful oratorios. The three sections of the collection are "Gilbert, Mostly without Sullivan," "Sullivan, Mostly without Gilbert," and "Gilbert and Sullivan: 252 book Reviews Collaborators." The "Mostly" in two headings is telling: the phenomenal success of the partnership made it virtually impossible to separate the two men in the minds of many of the people who knew them then, just as it is today. The irony of the Gilbert and Sullivan legacy, of course, is that although both dramatist and composer wished to be remembered for their individual works for the theatre and concert hall, and regarded their joint works as ephemeral and unimportant, it is their comic operas that have endured for over a century. Scholarly as well as popular interest in the Savoy operas has been growing with increasing energy over the past four decades, and this useful volume bridges the past century to give first-person insight into the men who created these unique and influential theatrical works. Orel has annotated his selections from books and periodicals with helpful notes identifying personages, clarifying references, correcting errors, and providing occasional cross-references to other selections. Although his annotations are usually reliable, several errors are present . (For instance, Trial by Jury was not based onaGilbert contribution to Punch (14), but on one to Punch's rival, Fun.) And although one could wish for more cross-references, the interconnectedness of many of the narratives might have made full cross-referencing cumbersome. A detailed index to the texts collected is a consolation; unfortunately, however , this index does not cover Orel's notes. Reading this book sequentially is rather like having a friendly chat over tea with the people who knew Gilbert and Sullivan well. The selections reinforce one another to form verbal arabesques of Gilbert the librettist (a martinet at rehearsals, with a biting wit, but very kindly, too, and always insistent that his words be understood in the theatre) and Sullivan the composer (unfailingly courteous, a playful sense...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 252-255
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Ceasing Publication
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