29 May 1999 | Jamie-58
For many years it was fashionable to sneer at this early marriage of Gilbert & Sullivan, the D'Oyly Carte and the movies. But the distance of time has given us a more benign approach. There is very little - surprisingly so - damage done to the operetta; an aria or two juxtaposed and some odd casting. But most of what remains is charming, fresh and very lively.
Martyn Green steals the film as KoKo, though Sydney Granville gives a time honoured performance as Pooh Bah. My only real gripe is that Darrell Fancourt, that doyen of the D'Oyly Carte, was not called upon to sing the title role. What a document that would have been! As it is, it is the seasoned artists who make the most of the material. And if I don't believe that this is the best of the G & S works, it is certainly a delightful way of spending an hour and a half.