Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Sorceror

I just saw this last night, part of my growing interest in the works of Gilbert & Sullivan. It turns out my local library has a number of their shows on DVD or VHS. In addition to the shows I saw last week I got discs for Ruddigore (which unfortunately was the trimmed down version) and Yeoman of the Guard. I liked Ruddigore, in spite of the absence of certain songs. I got the libretto and found that the ending really is as quick as it happens in the show I saw. I thought there would be some kind of build-up to his sudden epiphany, but he really does just blurt out the solution! I can see where Victorian audiences would have had a problem with it, I have some understanding of what's going on thanks to Wren's book, but it isn't obvious. To be honest I don't expect to like Yeoman, any more than I did Princess Ida, as my tastes don't go for tragedies and Yeoman is supposed to be just that.

The Sorceror was definitely in the G&S vein and definitely an early work. I enjoyed all of it except for the ending. The only way to break the curse is for someone to die, and the sorceror is voted off the island and goes willingly to his death. If memory serves someone claimed that the proper ending would have been for everyone to have slept with the object of their affections, which would have been an unacceptable ending then and even now.

But I saw a perfectly fine alternate ending for the story. Why not have the sorceror drink his own potion? It could have at the very least broken the spell, and, if some sort of 'divine retribution' is called for, left him to wander the earth in the same unhappy state as Dr. Daly and Lady Sangazure had been.

But something should have been done about Alexis, too. He got off far too easily!

P.S.:I've had an idea for my 'color of silence' story, too.

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