Topsy Turvy

Louise Gold plays the actress Rosina Brandram, filmed at Richmond Theatre, Surrey, in 1998

Some fourteen years after she played Katisha Countess of Grantham in The Metropolitan Mikado, Louise Gold and The Mikado’s Katisha cross paths again. In the Mike Leigh film Topsy Turvy, which focuses on the making of The Mikado, and in which Louise played Rosina Brandram, the actress who created the role of Katisha in the original production of The Mikado.

Rosina Brandram was an indefatigable member of the Doyly Carte company, who was in more original G&S productions than anyone else. She has been described as:

 “Rosina of the glorious voice that rolled out as full-bodied Burgundy rolled down; Rosina, whose dismal doom it was to represent undesirable old ladies of sixty-five, but who, with all the resources of the perruquier and the make-up box, could never succeed in looking more than an attractive eight-and-twenty—it was her only failure.” William Schwenck Gilbert, page 62 of “The Gilbert & Sullivan Companion” by Leslie Ayre



Characters who appear in The Mikado Scenes (and other notable players)

Sir Arthur Sullivan – Allan Corduner

Stage Door Keeper – Roger Heathcott

Helen Lenoir (Mr Carte’s assistant) – Wendy Nottingham

Richard Temple (The Mikado) – Timothy Spall

Butt – Francis Lee

Cook (Gentleman dresser)– William Neenan

Shrimp (Call Boy) – Adam Serle

Mr George Grossmith(Ko-Ko) – Martin Savage

William Schwenk Gilbert – Jim Broadbent

Lucy “Kitty” Gilbert (W. S. Gilbert’s wife) – Lesley Manville

Richard D’oyly Carte (Impresario) – Ron Cook

Mrs Fanny Ronalds (Sullivan’s mistress) – Eleanor David

Mr Durwood Lely (Nanki Poo) – Kevin McKidd

Richard Barker (Carte’s general manager) – Sam Kelly

Miss Leonora Braham (Yum Yum) – Shirley Henderson

Mr Seymour – Nicholas Woodeson

Stagehands = Nick Bartlett and Gary Dunnington

Miss Jessie Bond (Pitti Sing) – Dorothy Atkinson

Boy Actor – Neil Huimphries

Mr Rutland Barrington (Pooh-Bah) – Vincent Franklin

Mr Frederick Bovill (Pish-Tush) – Michael Simkins

Madame Leon (Ladies Costume Designer) – Alison Steadman

Miss Sibyl Grey (Peep-Bo) – Cathy Sara

Mr John D’Auban (Choreographer) – Andy Serkis

Miss Rosina Brandram (Katisha) – Louise Gold

and The Savoy Theatre – Richmond Theatre


The Doyly Carte Chorus:

Mr Price  Mark Benton, Miss Violet Russell  Heather Craney, Miss Meadows – Julie Jupp, Mr Sanders - John Warnaby, Miss Fitzherbert  Kacey Ainsworth, Mr Marchmont  Ashley Artus, Mr Gordon  Richard Attlee, Mr Flagstone  Paul Barnhill, Mr Conyngham  Nicholas Boulton, Miss Jardine  Lorraine Brunning, Mr Lewis  Simon Butteriss, Mr Rhys  Wayne Cater, Miss Moore  Rosie Cavaliero, Miss Bunny Warren  Michelle Chadwick, Miss Kingsley – Debbie Chazen, Mr Hammond  Richard Coyle, Miss Barnes  Monica Dolan, Miss Brown  Sophie Duval, Miss Biddles  Anna Francolini, Miss Coleford  Teresa Gallagher, Miss Woods  Sarah Howe, Miss Tringham  Ashley Jensen, Miss Langton-James  Gemma Page, Mr Bentley  Paul Rider, Miss Carlye  Mary Roscoe, Mr Kent – Steven Speirs, Miss Catherine Betts  Nicola Wainwright, Miss Wilkinson  Angie Wallis, Mr Walter Evans  Kevin Walton


Other Characters:

Louis (Sullivan’s manservant) – Dexter Fletcher, Clothilde (Sullivan’s Servant) – Sukie Smith, Frank Cellier Stefan Bednarczyk, Armourer – Geoffrey Hutchings, Mrs Judd (Gilbert’s Housekeeper) – Kate Doherty, Pidgeon (Gilbert’s manservant) – Kenneth Hadley, Maidservant – Keeley Gainley, Pianist in Brothel – Gary Yershon, Madame (of Brothel) – Katrin Cartlidge, Mademoiselle Fromage (a prostitute) – Julia Rayner, Second Prostitute – Jenny Pickering, Gilbert’s Father – Charles Simon, Paris Waiter – Philippe Constantin. Dentist – David Neville, Walter Simmonds – Matthew Mills, Emily (Miss Braham and Miss Bond’s dresser) – Amanda Crossley, Spinner – Kimi Shaw, Calligrapher –  Toksan Takahashi, Dancer –  Akemi Otani, Shamisen player – Kanako Morishita, Maude Gilbert (Gilbert’s sister) - Theresa Watson, Florence Gilbert (Gilbert’s sister) – Lavinia Bertram, First Kabuki actor – Togo Igawa, Second Kabuki actor – Eiji Kusuhara, Miss “Sixpence Please” – Naoko Mori, Gilbert’s Mother – Eve Pearce, Miss Morton (Madam Leon’s assistant) – Angela Curran, Alice (Seamstress) – Millie Gregory, Mr Wilhelm (Gentleman’s costume designer) – Jonathan Aris, Mrs Russell (Rehearsal Pianist) – Mia Soteriou, Mr Harris (Orchestra member) – Shaun Glandville, Mr Plank (Orchestra member) – Julian Bleach, Mr Hurley (Orchestra member) – Neil Savage, Mr Tripp (Orchestra member) – Matt Bardock, Madwoman – Brid Brennan



Lady Dudley – Richenda Carey (This is only according to Richenda Carey’s resume on her agent’s website, see note below)


Production Team

Director, and writer  Mike Leigh

Music – Sir Arthur Sullivan

Lyrics – W. S. Gilbert

Orchestrator and Arranger – Carl Davis

Musical Director – Gary Yershon

Cinematographer – Dick Pope, B.S.C.

Production Companies – Thinman Films, Greenlight Fund, Newmarket Capital Group, supported by  National Lottery through The Arts Council of England

Copyright/© – Untitled 98 Limited

Producer – Simon Channing-Williams

Associate Producer – Georgina Lowe

Costume Designer – Lindy Hemming

Make-Up and Hair Design – Christine Blundell

Editor – Robin Sales

Casting – Nina Gold

Sound Recordist – Tim Fraser

Choreographer – Francesca Jaynes

Made inUK 1998


For a Review of the film please click here.

For details of the Soudntrack album please click here.

For a Translation of the song Miya Sama (The chorus’s little ditty that leads into Timothy Spall & Louise Gold’s From Every Kind Of Man Obedience I Expect duet) please click here.

            Topsy Turvy’s working title was Untitled 98’

Topsy Turvy won The New York Film Critics ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best Director’ awards,

Topsy Turvy was nominated for several Academy Awards, and won two, for Costumes and Make-up respectively.

It is uncertain whether on not Richenda Carey actually appeared in Topsy Turvy, her resume on her agent’s website says that she did, see: However, the G&S enthusiasts on Savoynet have not so far found any trace of Lady Dudley on the film or Ms Carey in the film’s credits. Back in 1976 she had appeared in a Mike Leigh play Nuts In May on television (and the following year had been among the top three contenders for a notable TV comedy job...). She did however, go on to appear in the film Crush.

In this film the role of The Savoy Theatre was taken by Richmond Theatre, where Louise Gold has previously appeared in Noel/Cole: Let’s Do It , and, The Cherry Orchard.

Louise Gold had previously puppeteered on a Spitting Image special The Sound Of Maggie, which was also filmed at Richmond Theatre.

Louise Gold had previously appeared in another G&S film, The Pirates Of Penzance. Where she played (but regrettably did not sing) the role of Edith, a role which coincidentally Rosina Brandram had at some point or another appeared in while on a tour of the United States.

Having played the actress playing Peep-Bo in Topsy Turvy, Cathy Sara went on the play the most important of the three little maids, when her character in The Archers, Lauren, one of Tom Archer’s girl friends, played Yum Yum in an Ambridge version of The Mikado.

Louise Gold and Simon Butteriss has previously appeared in the G&S spoof The Metropolitan Mikado (in which Louise sang a number called Mitsubishi Marubeni which was a spoof on From Every Kind Of Man Obedience I Expect) and a concert of highlights from Ratepayers' Iolanthe & Metropolitan Mikado

Louise Gold had previously appeared on stage in a G&S operetta, namely The Pirates Of Penzance and with the rest of the cast of that production she appeared in The Pirates Of Penzance (Gala Performance), The Pirates Of Penzance (Gala Preview), The Pirates Of Penzance (Benefit Preview) and the 1982 Royal Variety Performance. Louise played the role of Isabel, but she also understudied Edith, a role which coincidentally Rosina Brandram had at some point or another appeared in while on a tour of the United States.

Louise Gold and Geoffrey Hutchings had previously played the comedians in Ziegfeld and sung on Ziegfeld (recording)

Matt Bardock and Louise Gold had previously appeared in Midsummer Night’s Dream at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

Sam Kelly is another Lost Musicals regular, he previously appeared with Louise Gold in Something For The Boys.

Anna Francolini has also appeared in a Lost Musicals production, I’d Rather Be Right, although so far never in one with Ms Gold.

Louise Gold and Kevin Walton had previously appeared together in Assassins and the Lost Musicals production of By Jupiter.

Louise Gold and Wayne Cater went on to appear in Man Of La Mancha

Louise Gold and Michael Simkins went on to become members of Mamma Mia’s second London cast.

Charles Simon had previously appeared in The Cherry Orchard .

Heather Craney, Dorothy Atkinson, and, Louise Gold have gone on to appear together on the CD The Wartime Picnics.

Naoko Mori had previously appeared in Casualty.

Christine Blundell had previously worked on Muppet Treasure Island.

Mike Leigh seems to be one of those directors whose work spans a generation. Many years ago, when Louise Gold herself was a teenage school-girl, her mother had a bit part in Mike Leigh’s film directorial debut, Bleak Moments (also known as Loving Moments).

Some of the people involved with this film have their performing origins very firmly routed in the world of progressive (often amateur) theatre. Mike Leigh himself cut his directorial teeth with the transient Dramograph company, with whom he directed the world premier of David Halliwell’s Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs. The play, originally over four hours long, was first presented at London’s Unity Theatre hired for the occasion (where Dramograph were extremely tardy with paying the £80 rent), and subsequently, in slimmed down form at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin and later in the West End. Jim Broadbent’s parents were among the group of conscientious objectors during World War II, who founded The Holton Players theatre company in the village of Holton-cum-Beckering in Lincolnshire, a group which is still going strong and now has its own theatre (in that village), of which Jim himself is the president of. Louise Gold’s parents, especially her mother, were notable Unity Theatre players, and Louise herself has appeared with The Fall Out Group.

The ladies and gentlemen of the chorus were required (in traditional ‘Mike Leigh’ style) to invent their own bit-parts. Chorus lady Anna Francolini decided that her character, Miss Biddles, was going to be a newcomer to The Doyly Carte company, whose first show was The Mikado; only to discover that, as a substantial part of the film is taken up Princess Ida and the revival of The Sorcerer, she had inadvertently written herself out of half the film; and, unfortunately for Miss Francolini, the director would not allow her to change her role.

Louise Gold has gone on to cross paths with the legacy of Miss Rosina Brandram by appearing in a production of The Gondoliers (as The Duchess Of Plaza-Toro - a role originated by Miss Brandram)

Musical Director Gary Yershon has gone on to write the book for a musical version of The Water Babies in whose inaugural production Louise Gold originated the leading lady’s role.

Angela Curran had previously appeared on television in Roland Rat The Series.

Julie Jupp, and, Angela Curran may have previously taken part in Thing A Thon.

Sam Kelly, and, Alison Steadman went on to take part in Shopping With The Stars 2009, at which Julian Bleach also put in an appearance.

There is currently no evidence to prove whether or not Adam Serle who played Shrimp The Call Boy here, was the same person as the singer Adam Serles who played The Artful Dodger on 100 Hits Musicals.

Julian Bleach went on to appear in Oliver!. His recording credits include Oliver! (Recording).

Anna Francolini and Louise Gold went on to appear in Somethin’ Good .


Critics Comments

 “Every time the awful Anne-Marie Owens started honking and twittering as Katisha I found myself replaying in my mind Louise Gold singing the role in Mike Leigh's film TOPSY TURVY and how she nailed it perfectly.Chris V, on the blog Chris N That, 15 March 2011.



Links about Tospy Turvy

Topsy Turvy’s Official site:  (incidentally, a lot of notable cast members, including Louise Gold, do not actually get a mention)

Muppet Central Interview with Louise Gold

Internet Movie Database

BFI Database’s entry for the film:

Thinman Films, the production company’s entry for this film:

Mel Moratti’s Gilbert & Sullivan site: The site includes a section about The Mikado which has details of everything about the real opening night of The Mikado, that the film Topsy Turvy is based on.

G&S Who’s Who entry for Rosina Brandram:

The Story Of A Stage Play: W. S. Gilbert’s own account of the history and evolution of The Mikado (that the film Topsy Turvy is based on), published in The New-York Daily Tribune 9th August 1885.

Footlight Notes: Includes a rather nice review of the original production of The Mikado, with a particularly fine reference to Rosina Brandram’s performance as Katisha.

The G&S Discography: Topsy Turvy’s entry. A great site contains various pictures from the film, including one of Mike Leigh directing Timothy Spall and Louise Gold.

The Empire Lyric Players: A little story by Bobbie Weaver about Topsy Turvy and The Muppets (specifically mentions Louise Gold).

Arts 4 All Newsletter: Review of Topsy Turvy by Theresa Shwartz, includes colour photograph of Mike Leigh with Timothy Spall and Louise Gold

Ifilm:,1699,969,00.html review Mike Leigh’s Organically Grown Victorian England, by David Chute. Includes colour photograph of Mike Leigh with Timothy Spall and Louise Gold. Also includes various facts about the film.

Movie Maker:  Method To His Madness, Adam M Goldstein interviews Mike Leigh about making Topsy Turvy. Interview is illustrated with various pictures from both Topsy Turvy and other Mike Leigh films, including in Black and White that picture of Mike Leigh with Timothy Spall and Louise Gold.

Dallas Observer: England’s Dreaming, Gregory Weinkauf interviews Mike Leigh about Topsy Turvy, and comments on the film. Includes black and white picture of Mike Leigh with Timothy Spall and Louise Gold.

Up and Coming Movies

Also, apparently, issue of “Variety (Aug 30 - Sept 5th) has a full page ad for the film, on page 19. Apparently there were screening at the Venice Film Festival on Sept 2nd and 3rd, and New York film Festival at 6pm on October 2nd and 1:30pm on October 3rd

Apparently there is something about it on the New York Festival site at

Topsy Turvy was on at the London Film Festival on Monday 8th November and Tuesday 9th November 1999.

Rotten Tomatoes reviews: Links to various reviews of the film.

Rave Central Reviews: Topsy Turvy reviews and links to other related (mostly commercial) sites.

Park Site contains links to reviews and other key information about the film. includes production details, and a short review by Derek Malcom.

Greenwich Village Gassette: review by Eric Lurio (the review mentions Louise Gold)

Corona BC: The Text of Eric Luno’s Greenwich Village Gassette review (above).

Pathe: page for Topsy Turvy, includes some links to other sites about the film.

Dr J At The Movies: A review of Topsy Turvy.

USA Today Movies: A review of Topsy Turvy, by Mike Clark.

Eastbay Express: Review of Topsy Turvy by Kelly Vance. Includes cast list.

Movies Of Oz: Topsy Turvy Cast List.

Andy Serkis’s website’s section on the film: Mr Serkis recounts some of his own researches into his character, D’Auban.

Playbill Online:  a page from May 1999, includes a paragraph on up and coming movies which specifically mentions Louise Gold in Topsy Turvy.

Salon interview with Mike Leigh: in which he talks about his unusual film-making style

Chris N That Blog:  - see the entry for 15 March 2011, about watching a performance of The Mikado.(He specifically mentions that Louise Gold in the film Topsy Turvy did a better job than the lady playing Katisha in this production.


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