England's answer to The Wizard of Oz proved to be another costly mistake for the man with the gong. Why shrewd businessmen CM Woolf and J Arthur Rank expected America to welcome this very English operetta is one of the unsolved mysteries of Wardour Street. Of course it's good, but casting an American crooner (the engaging and very pretty Baker) as Nanki-Poo hardly mitigates Gilbert & Sullivan's impenetrable insularity. For those with vague memories of 'Three Little Maids from School Are We' echoing through their childhood, however, this is a real treat. Enchantingly subtle Technicolor and the splendid ensemble playing of the D'Oyly Carte company make it a strangely evocative experience.
Cast and crew