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Diary: Iolanthe’s flying fairies almost fail to McCrystalise

A scene from Iolanthe at the London Coliseum. Photo: Tristram Kenton A scene from Iolanthe at the London Coliseum. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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Cal McCrystal seems to have overstretched himself somewhat as the director of the new production of Iolanthe at English National Opera.

It seems that he wasn’t able to make his budget for the show go as far as he’d hoped, which meant he had to call in some favours to fund some of the more – shall we say – lavish elements of the production.

According to a report in the Times, McCrystal wanted his fairies to take flight in the show. Well, who wouldn’t want to see that?

Problem is, he didn’t have the cash, and fairy dust wasn’t going to solve this one. Step forward Conservative peer Lord Glendonbrook, who promptly stumped up the money needed to make this happen.

Apparently, Glendonbrook was keen to keep the work of Gilbert and Sullivan “contemporary”, so he put in £25,000 to lift the fairies off the ground.

The man who used to run airline BMI joked: “I did own an airline so it all fits in place really.”

Well, Tabard salutes him for his generous donation to the production. And how nice to see a Tory supporting the arts so kindly.

Some – not Tabard, you understand – might argue that it would be lovely to see other Tories following suit.

Particularly those in the government.

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