Topsy Turvy (1999)

Gilbert & Sullivan & So Much More

Original Title : Topsy-Turvy
Director : Mike Leigh
Writer : Mike Leigh
Genre : Comedy
Country : UK
Language : English
Producer : Simon Channing-Williams , Georgina Lowe
Music : Carl Davis (I)
Jacques Offenbach
Arthur Sullivan (I)
Photography : Dick Pope
MPAA Rating : Rated R for a scene of risque nudity.
IMDB ID : 0151568
Official site :
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poster for "Topsy Turvy" by Mike Leigh (1999)
Topsy Turvy (1999) - Mike Leigh


Allan Corduner Sir Arthur Sullivan
Dexter Fletcher I
Sukie Smith Clothilde
Roger Heathcott Banton
Wendy Nottingham Helen Lenoir
Stefan Bednarczyk Frank Cellier
Geoffrey Hutchings Armourer
Timothy Spall Richard Temple (The Mikado
Francis Lee I
William Neenan Cook
Adam Searle Shrimp
Martin Savage George Grossmith (Ko-Ko
Jim Broadbent W. S. Gilbert
Lesley Manville Lucy Gilbert
Kate Doherty I
Kenneth Hadley Pidgeon
Keeley Gainey Maidservant
Ron Cook I
Eleanor David Fanny Ronalds
Gary Yershon Pianist in Brothel
Katrin Cartlidge Madame
Julia Rayner I
Jenny Pickering Second Prostitute
Kevin McKidd Durward Lely (Nanki-Poo
Sam Kelly I
Charles Simon II
Philippe Constantin I
David Neville Dentist
Matthew Mills Walter Simmonds
Shirley Henderson I
Nicholas Woodeson Mr. Seymour, Production Manager
Nick Bartlett Stage Hand
Gary Dunnington Stage Hand
Dorothy Atkinson Jessie Bond (Pitti-Sing
Amanda Crossley Emily, Jessie's Maid
Kimi Shaw Spinner
Toksan Takahashi Calligrapher
Akemi Otani Dancer
Kanako Morishita Samisen Player
Theresa Watson Maude Gilbert
Lavinia Bertram Florence Gilbert
Togo Igawa First Kabuki Actor
Eiji Kusuhara Second Kabuki Actor
Naoko Mori I
Eve Pearce Gilbert's Mother
Neil Humphries Boy Actor
Vincent Franklin Rutland Barrington (Pooh-Bah
Michael Simkins Frederick Bovill
Alison Steadman Madame Leon
Cathy Sara Sybil Grey (Peep-Bo
Angela Curran Miss Morton
Millie Gregory Alice
Jonathan Aris Wilhelm
Andy Serkis John D'Auban
Mia Soteriou Mrs. Russell
Louise Gold Rosina Brandram (Katisha
Shaun Glanville Mr. Harris
Julian Bleach Mr. Plank
Neil Salvage Mr. Hurley
Matt Bardock Mr. Tripp
Brid Brennan Mad Woman (as Bríd Brennan
Mark Benton Mr. Price
Heather Craney Miss Russell
Julie Jupp Miss Meadows
John Warnaby Mr. Sanders
Kacey Ainsworth Miss Dorothea Fitzherbert
Ashley Artus Mr. Marchmont
 Mr. Gordon
Paul Barnhill Mr. Flagstone
Nicholas Boulton Mr. Conyngham
 Miss Jardine
Simon Butteriss Mr. Lewis
 Mr. Rhys
 Miss Moore
Michelle Chadwick Miss Warren
Debbie Chazen Miss Kingsley
Richard Coyle Mr. Hammond
Monica Dolan Miss Barnes
Sophie Duval II
Anna Francolini Miss Biddles
Teresa Gallagher Miss Coleford
Sarah Howe Miss Woods
Ashley Jensen Miss Tringham
Gemma Page Miss Langton-James
Paul Rider Mr. Bentley
 Miss Carlyle
 Mr. Kent
 Miss Betts
Angie Wallis Miss Wilkinson
Kevin Walton I


After their production "Princess Ida" meets with less-than-stunning reviews, the relationship between Gilbert and Sullivan is strained to breaking. Their friends and associates attempt to get the two to work together again, which opens the way to one of their greatest successes. Although a respectable hit, Gilbert and Sullivan's "Princess Ida" is criticised for being routine. Arthur Sullivan tends to agree, finding he has run out of musical ideas for Gilbert's increasingly predictable stories. He would rather be composing a full opera, an idea that jeopardises not only the pair's relationship but the future of the stage company that Richard D'Oyly Carte has built around the comic operas. Then Mrs Gilbert persuades her husband to take her to an exhibition of Japanese life...


OK, it's too long (almost 3 hours) and we did not need all those full performances of numbers from "The Mikado".That aside, this is an entertaining and extremely well-acted movie about Gilbert & Sullivan--their personal lives, their working partnership and how "The Mikado" was developed.We also get to see how they train the actors in how to talk, sing and (in an uproarious sequence) walk Japanese.How factual this is, I have no idea.But the movie was so well-done and entertaining, who cares. Well worth watching, but you do have to sit through one too many opera numbers.
poster for "Topsy Turvy"
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Topsy Turvy (1999) - Mike Leigh
poster for "Topsy Turvy"
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Topsy Turvy (1999) - Mike Leigh
poster for "Topsy Turvy"
333 x 500
Topsy Turvy (1999) - Mike Leigh