The 1999 British flick “Topsy-Turvy” heading home on both DVD and Blu-ray on March 29, 2011. The film is written and directed by Mike Leigh.

Full cast: Dorothy Atkinson as Jessie Bond, who plays Pitti-Sing, Brid Brennan as a mad beggar, Jim Broadbent as W. S. Gilbert, Ron Cook as Richard D'Oyly Carte, owner of the Savoy Theater, Allan Corduner as Arthur Sullivan, Eleanor David as Fanny Ronalds, Sullivan's mistress, Dexter Fletcher as Louis, Sullivan's butler, Vincent Franklin as Rutland Barrington, who plays Pooh-Bah, Louise Gold as Rosina Brandram, who plays Katisha, Shirley Henderson as Leonora Braham, who plays Yum-Yum, Lesley Manville as Lucy "Kitty" Gilbert, Gilbert's wife, Kevin McKidd as Durward Lely, who plays Nanki-Poo, Naoko Mori as Miss "Sixpence Please", Wendy Nottingham as Helen Lenoir, Carte's indispensable assistant, Cathy Sara as Sybil Grey, who plays Peep-Bo, Martin Savage as George Grossmith, who plays Ko-Ko, Andy Serkis as John D'Auban, choreographer, Michael Simkins as Frederick Bovill, who plays Pish-Tush, Sukie Smith as Clothilde, Sullivan's maid and Timothy Spall as Richard Temple, who plays the Mikado.

Topsy-Turvy movie synopsis: On the opening night of Princess Ida at the Savoy Theatre in January 1884, composer Arthur Sullivan (Allan Corduner), who is ill from kidney disease, is barely able to make it to the theatre to conduct. He goes on a holiday to Continental Europe hoping that the rest will improve his health. While he is away, ticket sales and audiences at the Savoy Theatre wilt in the hot summer weather. Producer Richard D'Oyly Carte (Ron Cook) has called on the playwright, W. S. Gilbert (Jim Broadbent), and Sullivan to create a new piece for the Savoy, but it is not ready before Ida closes. Until a new piece can be prepared, Carte revives an earlier Gilbert and Sullivan work, The Sorcerer.

Gilbert's idea for their next opera features a transformative magic lozenge, which Sullivan feels is repetitive, since it is similar to the story of The Sorcerer, and mechanical, due to its reliance on a supernatural device. Sullivan, under pressure to write more serious music, says he longs for something that is "probable" and involves "human interest", and not dependent on magic. Gilbert sees nothing wrong with his libretto and refuses to write a new one, which results in a stand-off. The impasse is resolved after Gilbert and his wife visit a popular exhibition of Japanese arts and crafts in Knightsbridge, London. When the katana sword that he purchased there falls noisily off the wall of his study, he is inspired to write a libretto set in exotic Japan. Sullivan likes the idea and agrees to compose the music for it.

Gilbert, Sullivan and Carte work to make The Mikado a success, and many glimpses of rehearsals and stressful backstage preparations for the show follow: Cast members lunch together before negotiating their salaries. Gilbert brings in Japanese girls from the exhibition to teach the ladies' chorus how to walk and use fans in the Japanese manner. The principal cast react to the fittings of their costumes designed by the famous costumier C. Wilhelm. The entire cast object to the proposed cut of the title character's Act Two solo, "A more humane Mikado". The actors face first-night jitters in their dressing rooms. Finally The Mikado is ready to open. As usual, Gilbert is too nervous to watch the opening performance and paces the streets of London. Returning to the theatre, however, he finds that the new opera is a resounding success.

DVD and Blu-ray will feature the following bonus materials:

- Director-approved digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Dick Pope (with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
- Audio commentary featuring director Mike Leigh
- New video conversation between Leigh and the film's musical director, Gary Yershon
- A Sense of History, Leigh's 1992 short film written by and starring actor Jim Broadbent
- Deleted scenes
- Featurette from 1999 including interviews with Leigh, stars Broadbent and Allan Corduner, and other cast members
- Theatrical trailer and TV spots
- A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Amy Taubin

on Dec 16, 2010
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