George Grossmith Quotes in Topsy-Turvy (1999)


George Grossmith Quotes:

  • [rehearsing a scene]

    George Grossmith: [annoyed] "Well, a nice mess you've got us into, with your nodding head, and the deference due to a man of pedigree!"

    Gilbert: Mr. Grossmith, you are under sentence of death, "by something lingering, either boiling oil or melted lead." Kindly bear that in mind.

  • Wilhelm: Mr. Grossmith, kindly oblige me by removing your hat.

    George Grossmith: Why, sir? Are you ready for me?

    Wilhelm: Would that I were, sir. And, I'll thank you not to refer to my designs as "vulgar", Mr. Lely.

    Durward Lely: Mr. Wilhelm, to my eyes, your designs are not only vulgar, but obscene!

    Wilhelm: How DARE you, sir?

    Gilbert: Strong words, Lely - what the deuce do you mean?

    Durward Lely: Mr. Gilbert, I am a respectably married man and I love my wife dearly. Now, one of the few pleasures that she has enjoyed since the untimely demise of my beloved mother-in-law is to watch me perform upon the stage. But, I am not prepared to allow her to suffer the embarrassment of seeing me flaunted before the public like a half-dressed, performing dog!

    Gilbert: You have my sympathies, Lely. Unfortunately, your avocation as an actor compels you, on occasion, to endure the most ignominious indignities, to which Grossmith will doubtless testify.

    George Grossmith: Without question, sir.

  • Gilbert: You, do?

    [referring to the chorus members belief that the Mikado song should not have been cut]

    Mr. Price: Yes, sir, we do so.

    Female Chorus Member: Yes, especially after all our extremely hard work and of course, Mr. Temple's.

    Gilbert: I'm very sorry for you, but as we all know, it's an unjust world.

    Male Chorus Member: We all feel it would have been a great benefit to the opera.

    Female Chorus Member: And it's fair for it to be left to the audience to decide.

    Gilbert: Is this the considered opinion of you all?

    Chorus Members: It is, sir.

    Mr. Kent: I am not a party to this, Mr. Gilbert.

    Gilbert: Ah, Mr. Kent, as ever the sole voice of reason!

    Gilbert: [to Temple, who has unexpectedly come upon the meeting of Gilbert and the chorus members] Mr. Temple, what do you make of this occurrence?

    Richard Temple: I do beg your pardon Mr. Gilbert, but I have absolutely no idea of what is taking place.

    Gilbert: There has been a request that your song be reinstated.

    Richard Temple: Ah.


    Richard Temple: Ah.

    Gilbert: A most forceful request, I have to say.

    [George Grossmith also comes unexpectedly upon the crowd]

    George Grossmith: [to the crowd members] Afternoon, afternoon, please give way.

    [seeing Gilbert]

    George Grossmith: Ah! Beg pardon, sir.

    Gilbert: This is surprising, indeed, ladies and gentlemen, somewhat overwhelming.

    Gilbert: [to Temple] Temple, would you be prepared to sing this song at this evening's performance?

    Richard Temple: Yes, sir, I would.

    Gilbert: [after long hesitation] Then please be so good as to do so.

    [Chorus members laugh, cheer and applaud]

    Gilbert: Rehearsals will commence in five minutes!

    Male Chorus Member: Congratulations, Temple!

  • George Grossmith: [of the Japanese fan] I'm sure I've seen this on a vase somewhere.

  • George Grossmith: I have a meeting with Carte this afternoon.

    George Grossmith: At what hour?

    Rutland Barrington: Five o'clock.

    George Grossmith: Curious. I am to meet with him at half-past four.

    Durward Lely: Strange, I DON'T have a meeting with him at four o'clock.

    Rutland Barrington: It is my firm intention to prise open his purse.

    George Grossmith: It will take a far stronger man than you, Mr. Barrington, to fulfill that herculean labour.

    Rutland Barrington: [chuckles] And what's your mission, Captain Grossmith?

    George Grossmith: Oh, there are certain little matters.

  • Gilbert: Thus. The traditional Japanese posture adopted by well-meaning, but misguided, underlings upon the departure of their august superiors.

    George Grossmith: Would that be a recognised Japanese attitude, sir?

    Gilbert: Not as yet, Grossmith, but I have every confidence that it shall become one.

  • George Grossmith: The Hottentot in the desert doesn't play cricket. His natural habitation being the jungly-bungly tree, he is as yet hardly able to walk upright, don't you know.

  • Gilbert: You have my sympathies, Lely. But unfortunately your avocation as an actor compels you on occasion to endure the most ignominious indignities, as Grossmith will doubtless testify.

    George Grossmith: Without question, sir.

  • [Seymour, the stage manager, fills in Lely's part during a rehearsal]

    Mr. Seymour, Production Manager: [reading from the script, over-acting] Oh, but it's too late! I'm a dead man, and I'm off for my honeymoon.

    [Barrington falls about laughing]

    George Grossmith: Uncanny, is it not?

    Gilbert: Mr. Seymour, please inform Mr. Lely that his services will no longer be required.

  • George Grossmith: [In rehearsals as Koko, and pronouncing a word wrongly] Is this a time for airy persiflidge?

    Gilbert: *Persiflage*, Grossmith.

    George Grossmith: Is it?

    Gilbert: It is.

    George Grossmith: Is this a time for airy persiflage? Doesn't sound right to me.

    Gilbert: Persiflage, mirage, fromage.

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