The Mikado

The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company

Malvern Theatres


In the Town of Titipu, Japan, The Lord High Executioner wanted heads to roll and knots to be tied as The Mikado demanded a punishment to fit the crime.

In the fourth Gilbert and Sullivan Opera to take over Malvern Theatres this week, The Mikado, told the humorous love story of Yum-Yum, Ellen Angharad Williams and Nanki-Poo, David Menezes, however as we all know the course of true love never did run smooth.

As Nanki-Poo escaped from his father The Mikado, Bruce Graham, and a forced marriage with the dominant Katisha, Mae Heydorn, his pursuit for true love proved challenging as the discovery that Yum-Yum was to be married to Ko-Ko, Richard Guantlett, proved too much to bear.

When suicide seemed the only option, Ko-Ko comes up with another plan and both gentlemen agreed to an end of month beheading and a brief wedding. What could possibly go wrong? Don’t forget Nanki-Poo also being pursued by persistent and deluded Katisha, who would stop at nothing to capture her prey.

This farcical plot has been entertaining audiences since 1885 and has been performed more times than any other Gilbert and Sullivan Opera and it’s clear to see why. In the second Act we learned that if a husband is beheaded the wife must be buried alive, discovered by Pooh-Bah, Lord High Everything Else, Matthew Kellett.

One of the funniest scenes is the performance of ‘Here’s a how-de-do’ where the audience are treated to some rather nimble footwork by Ko-Ko, even if it does leave him out of breath.

The National Festival Orchestra, musical director Andrew Nicklin and choreographer Jackie O’Brien all add to the ingredients of this show’s success and with nostalgic musical numbers such as Three little maids from school are we, Tit-willow and I’ve got a little list mixed with mentions of Brexit and Trump to catapult into modern day . . . and watch out for Katisha’s kicks.

Emma Trimble


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