For nearly a decade, musical composers Gilbert and Sullivan, renowned for their Victorian operettas, had been delighting the English people. But in 1884 their latest work received lukewarm press. Sullivan wanted to quit and compose more serious music, but the two were contractually obligated to create a new work for their producer.
When Gilbert’s wife brought him to a Japanese exhibition, he conceived “The Mikado.” But that’s when the work really began. As actors were rehearsed and coddled, the ensemble’s private lives began to color their work. “Topsy-Turvy” examines the tumultuous goings on during the process of bringing “The Mikado” from page to stage.