Iolanthe (or, The Peer & The Peri)
years ago, Iolanthe, a fairy, committed the capital offence of marrying
a mortal. The Fairy Queen reduced her sentence to exile, on condition
that she leave her husband and never see him again. Iolanthe's son,
Strephon, has grown up, half fairy, half mortal. He loves Phyllis, who
is a Ward of the Court of Chancery. The House of Lords have also fallen
in love with her.
As the curtain rises, the Fairy Queen pardons Iolanthe. Her son, Strephon,
then announces his desire to marry Phyllis. Meanwhile, the House of Lords
appeal to the Lord Chancellor to give Phyllis to one of them. Phyllis
demurs, announcing her desire to marry Strephon. The Lord Chancellor refuses.
Strephon is crushed and Iolanthe tries to comfort her son in a tender
moment. This is misconstrued as a fling with a young girl and Phyllis,
in anger, decides to marry one of the Lords.
The fairies take Strephon's side, punishing the Lords by sending Strephon
into Parliament and casting a spell to make them pass any bill that he
wishes. Meanwhile, the Lord Chancellor decides he wants to marry Phyllis.
To prevent the Lord Chancellor from marrying Phyllis, Iolanthe reveals
herself to him as his long dead wife. She is condemned to die by the Fairy
Queen who subsequently discovers that all the fairies have fallen in love
and married all the peers. She can't execute everybody, so she gives up
and marries a mortal herself. With everyone happily coupled, they all
fly off to fairyland.