Topsy-Turvy casts the spotlight upon the creative partnership of William Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, responsible for such classic operettas as The Pirates of Penzance . After ten consecutive smash hits, Gilbert and Sullivan have a flop on their hands and begin to question the very process that has afforded them a decade of success. Sullivan (Allan Corduner) thinks Gilbert's story lines have become formulaic and a creative deadlock is reached. But when Gilbert (Jim Broadbent) visits a Japanese cultural exhibition he is struck with inspiration and the pair re-unite to create The Mikado, a huge hit. Throughout Topsy-Turvy are woven insights into the lives not only of the complex Gilbert, childlessly married to a demoted wife, and the bon-viveur, brothel-visiting Sullivan and his American mistress, but also the working actors, actresses, chorus, musicians and costumiers of the Savoy Theatre, and of D’Oyly carte and his team.