From the first scene of Foggerty’s Fairy, the audience is transported to Queen Victoria’s London, to a Victorian sitting room, where the audience listens in as the conversation turns to an upcoming wedding.
Fairy is an 1881 comedy written by W.S. Gilbert, without the help of Arthur Sullivan and thus does not feature music. Gilbert and Sullivan operettas are a staple of the Victorian Lyric Opera Company’s repertoire, and they performed this non-musical in June at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Gettysburg, VA.
A young, soon-to-be-wed apothecary Frederick Foggerty (Frederick DuPuy) enlists the help of his fairy godmother to erase a problematic ex-lover from his past. The fairy hands him a magical potion to conjure up a world in which he never knew Miss Delia Spiff (Christina Postolowski). Foggerty is thrust into an alternate universe where he finds out things are not as they seem. The shenanigans that ensue from the reversal will delight audiences young and old.
The play’s concept of parallel universes was not popular amongst Victorians and so it did not have a long run in London and Gilbert returned to writing operettas with Sullivan. Today, his play has found a home amongst Gilbert & Sullivan enthusiasts; however, a knowledge of G & S works is not necessary to appreciate Foggerty’s Fairy.
Director Felicity Ann Brown’s staging of the play is traditional. The set and costumes are accurate and the cast speaks in believable British accents.
Each member of the cast gives an outstanding performance and showed an enthusiasm for the work. The large cast worked well together. The Fairy Rebecca (Casey Keeler) gracefully charmed the audience while acting on roller skates and sporting wings and a tutu. Foggerty’s fiancé, Jennie Talbot (Rhea Smirlock) and Foggerty’s romantic rival for her affections Theodore Walkinshaw (Richard Gorbutt) shined mixing drama and comedy in their roles.
Foggerty’s Fairy has 4 more performances at The Apothecary, 1013 7th Street NW, Washington DC.