We’ve been working to redevelop our website, so some things have moved, but you’ll find the static material that used to appear at the bottom of this page has been relocated to the Welcome page and its subsidiary pages. This page displays the three most recent posts in the Members category: older posts can be found in our Posts archive.

Mikado archive – a start!

Thanks to Geoff, Kerry and Val there are some backstage images on the archive page at this link – they were the only three who responded to my email request! On the archive page you’ll also find an electronic version of the programme, a cast list (where all is revealed!), the start to a comments section, and Kerry’s Ode. There’ll be some pictures of us on stage as soon as I get the video.

Principals, please note that I’ve updated your individual pages linked to Meet the stars!, which now have the image and copy used in the Mikado programme.

More to come, but do let me have your feedback on what’s already there, plus suggestions and materials (stories; images) for enhancing the website record of a great show that will live long in the memory.

Thank you, team

Thank you to everyone who came to the show, and everyone who took part or helped in any way, but very special thanks to Rae for her energy and enthusiasm, for her commitment to making this a show to remember (if only for those b****y blocks!), for bringing along all those members of Cat-Like Tread to reduce the average age of those on stage, and for her inspired ‘tweak’ in casting Robin as Katisha and Susanne as Ko-Ko. Everyone enjoyed the show … even the traditionalists.

And hearty congratulations to our role-swapping pair who produced amazing performances. Apart from successfully overcoming the challenge of singing in a register different from the one Sir Arthur intended, they must have put in many hours learning a different set of really quite complicated lines. And they seemed so convincing: Robin was Katisha, and not Robin in drag; in wearing the George Grossmith trousers, Susanne added amazing energy and supple movement. Mikado will never seem the same again!

What NODA thought …

Dorothy Johnstone attended our Saturday matinée and reported on behalf of NODA:

The Mikado is an operetta I know particularly well, so I thought I pretty much knew what to expect from this production. How wrong I was. The curtain rose to reveal the Gentlemen of Titipu in casual trousers, shirts and waistcoats wearing brightly-coloured bowler-type hats alongside the Ladies of Titipu in fluorescent wigs, black trousers or long skirts underneath a white open kimono-type dressing gown. Then the arrival of Nanki-Poo casually dressed with a black leather jacket and carrying a trombone, followed by three little maids in figure-hugging short black dresses which at times got lost against the black ramps and scaffolding which made up the set. No traditional colourful Japanese set or orange blossom. And not a fan in sight … I must confess that it took me a little time to get used to what I was seeing, but when I did I found the concept of this production quirky and intriguing. Rectangular boxes moved cleverly around the stage helped to create different playing levels, although at times this was a little distracting. Another twist was Ko-Ko being played by a female and Katisha played by a man.

Although this was certainly a very different, innovative production, the score and script remained true to the work of Gilbert and Sullivan. The standard of singing by both the chorus and principal characters was extremely high and maintained throughout. Yum-Yum (Lindsey Cotter), Pitti -Sing (Katy Williamson) and Peep-Bo (Sinead Black) blended well vocally. Nanki-Poo (Alex Gunn) had a most pleasing light tenor voice which contrasted well with the resounding bass voice of Pooh-Bah (George Alexander), Lord High Everything Else and Pish-Tush (Martin Tarr). The Mikado (Matthew Sielewicz), complete with top hat and short jacket, also gave a strong impressive performance.

There were certainly some high-standard characterisations in this production but, in my opinion, the Oscar-winning performance was Susanne Horsburgh’s Ko-Ko. Scurrying about the stage, swinging from scaffolding, and with brilliant comic timing, this really was a brilliant performance which kept the show moving along at a great pace. Robin Ozog’s Katisha, the only character in Japanese costume, was also a tour de force. “Alone and yet alive” was beautifully sung, and for me was one of the show’s highlights. These two characters interacted brilliantly. “Tit Willow” and “Beauty in the bellow of the blast” were both excellent. Act 2 has some gorgeous small ensemble numbers such as “The flowers that bloom in the Spring” and the Madrigal, and the harmonies in these numbers came through very well indeed.

This was undoubtedly a very different Mikado from any other I have ever seen or performed in and I have the greatest admiration for the director and the company for taking up the challenge of doing something totally different. I am sure there will be some who prefer to stick to tradition but, if the audience response was anything to go by, this was a most successful venture.

It was also a pleasure to present nine long service awards at the end of the production.

Next appearance

Pinafore 2018

Save the date – you’ll have an opportunity to join us on 15 June for a sing-through of HMS Pinafore

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