I cannot read the argument between the Lords Mountararat and Tolloller over Phyllis, in Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe
, as anything but the distilled essence of slash. It's the classic set-up: two men are in contest for the affections of one lady, but in truth their attachment to each other trumps their love for her.
PHYL. (coming down). Now, I do hope you're not going to fight over me, because it's really not worth while.
LORD TOLL. (looking at her). Well, I don't believe it is!
LORD MOUNT. Nor I. The sacred ties of Friendship are paramount.
[a quartet is sung (a nearby sentry makes four) in praise of friendship: "Not even love/Should rank above/True Friendship's name!"]
(Exeunt LORD MOUNTARARAT and LORD TOLLOLLER, lovingly, in one direction, and PHYLLIS in another. Exit Sentry.)
Which got me thinking...
Ever wonder why it was the Fairy Queen was quite so upset at Iolanthe for marrying the Chancellor? Ever wonder why she nevertheless couldn't carry through on her threats? Ever wonder why she relented even on the half-punishment, why life her was joyless without Iolanthe's company?
I saw a production where Fairfax chose Jack Point at the very end of Yeomen of the Guard
, and it was the fickle Elsie's turn to fall senseless. I also saw a production (by the same company) where Josephine went off with Dick Dead-Eye. And don't you think some of the ladies of Castle Adamant were perfectly happy without any men?
What if the bitter Richard, spurned by Rose, joined the Pirates of Penzance (he was
an orphan, after all), lost an eye in the process, and then -- when lack of a peerage meant he failed to land any of the Stanley sisters -- joined the crew of the Pinafore as Dick Dead-Eye?I
say the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas are richly deserving of fanfiction. I don't suppose anyone would write me some?
wins a prize for already having written a Katisha/Pitti-Sing story
, and Ms. Donovan and Ms. Midnight have written the most wonderful Pish-Tush/Poo-Bah
x-posted to vintagefic