Creatures of Impulse
Creatures of Impulse is a stage play by the English dramatist W. S. Gilbert, with music by the composer-conductor Alberto Randegger. The play was first produced at the Court Theatre on 2 April 1871. It originally included six songs, but three were eventually cut, and some productions dispensed with the music entirely.
About Creatures of Impulse in brief
Creatures of Impulse is a stage play by the English dramatist W. S. Gilbert, with music by the composer-conductor Alberto Randegger. The play was first produced at the Court Theatre on 2 April 1871. Both the play and the short story concern an unwanted and ill-tempered old fairy who enchants people to behave in a manner opposite to their natures, with farcical results. It originally included six songs, but three were eventually cut, and some productions dispensed with the music entirely. While the lyrics survive, the music was never published and is lost. Reviews of the play were mostly positive, though it was criticised for the lack of a significant plot or superstructure to support its comic premise. Nonetheless, reviewers found it enjoyable, and it was a modest success, running for 91 performances and enjoying revivals into the early part of the 20th century. Gilbert later wrote the libretti to the famous series of Savoy operas between 1871 and 1896, including The Palace of Truth and The Gentleman in Black. He was also developing his unique style of absurdist humour, described as “Topsy-Turvy”, made up of wit, irony, topsyturvydom, parody, observation, theatrical technique, and profound intelligence. The story and play date from the middle of this period, when Gilbert was trying different styles and working towards the mature style of his later work, including the famousseries of Gilbert and Sullivan operas.
Gilbert described the play as a “musical fairytale”. He did not originally intend for the story to be turned into a play; nonetheless, a few months later it was on stage. He adapted the story into aplay for Marie Litton’s Royal Court Theatre. Under the title of Creatures of. Impulse, it opened on 2April 1871 as a companion piece for Randall’s Thumb. It was revived in 1872 at the Queen’s Theatre, and in 1873 at the Vaudeville Theatre, all all in all at the same time. Gilbert continued to commission works from Litton, including Gilbert’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations in 1871, Broken Hearts in 1875, and various translations of French works of French literature. He often used his previous prose as the basis for his later plays, and Creatures of Impulse was no exception. The score has been lost, but Gilbert described it as a work of later work. He later wrote a book of short stories, Foggerty’s Fairy and Other Tales, which is the only collection of his short stories to have been published during his lifetime. He also wrote several plays and operas, including Our Island Home, The Gentleman In Black, and The Happy Land, which portrayed members of the British Government on the stage on all four sides of the English Channel. Gilbert’s last play was The Queen’s Court Theatre, which opened in 1874.