Tonight we’re doing something completely different and will be exploring the hidden world of ENO (English National Opera) to discover the secrets of the Coliseum, London’s largest theatre.
A friendly and informal tour of this extraordinary building will include the old Gentleman‘s Baronial Smoking Hall, Stoll’s Balcony, some Private Rooms, the Upper Glassed Terraces, the auditorium, the warren of staircases backstage, and underneath the vast revolving stage and orchestra pit (if we’re lucky).
We have a guest list of 60, some of whom are 10Eighty guests and others have been invited by Quentin Millington of Marblebrook our partner, strategic alignment consultant, from a wide range of organisations including Google, Rothschild, Hitachi, UBS, DHL, NHS Direct, Carillion PLC and The Crown Estate.
The agenda for the evening is
6.00pm London Coliseum tour
6.30pm Private reception in the American Bar
7.30pm Iolanthe – curtain up
8.50pm Interval drinks
A couple of short talks during the tour will include Cal McCrystal (who’s directed Iolanthe) talking about the opera and how it links to the audience, then 10Eighty CEO Michael Moran will be talking about employee engagement.
About the Coliseum and ‘Iolanthe’
We did some research and found out that the London Coliseum opened as a Music Hall in 1904. It quickly became known as ‘The Peoples Palace’ – a theatre that was affordable but also inspired a sense of wonder and excitement.
‘Iolanthe’, also known as the ‘The Peer and the Peri’, opened down the road at the Savoy Theatre over 20 years before the Coliseum opened, on November 25, 1882 and it ran for 398 performances. Many feel that Iolanthe, Gilbert and Sullivan’s seventh work, is the most perfect of their collaborations.
If you’re a fan of the songs from Tim Burton’s ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’ or Monty Python’s surreal musical ditties we think you’d enjoy the witty and fast-paced songs of Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta Iolanthe, particularly ‘The Nightmare Song’.
In this ‘fairy opera’, the House of Lords is lampooned as a bastion of the ineffective, privileged and dim-witted. The political party system and other institutions also come in for a dose of satire. But the author and composer couch the criticism among bouncy, amiable absurdities it is all received as good fun.
And we hope our party of 60 have some good fun tonight!