The story jumps back more than a hundred years to the heyday of operetta maestros William
Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan and the original 1884 composition and staging of what would become
one of their most famous works, The Mikado. At the time, however, Gilbert and Sullivan were
anything but a sure thing, following a slump that nearly broke up the duo.
The story at first steps midway into their careers, as they weather the mediocre reception of
Princess Ida and come to an impasse when, suffering a battery of ailments and an artistic
depression, Sullivan (Corduner) decides that light musical theater is no longer in his
future. Gilbert (Broadbent) won't object to his friends decision and the conflict remains at
a stalemate until Mrs. Gilbert (Manville) drags him out to a Japanese exposition and sparks
the idea for what becomes The Mikado.
With the mix of fact and fiction in the production of one of the finest musicals ever created
by the dynamic duo, this film threatens to follow in the footsteps of Shakespeare in Love.