Mikado 2017

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LOpSoc brings to the Nuffield Theatre a fresh and unique production of “The Mikado”, one of the most loved and best lasting Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. With a new aesthetic twist and setting, witty libretto and gorgeous music, this is a production to please newcomers and G&S fans alike.

Gilbert found all of the reference material he needed within a mile of his own home in South Kensington. From the Japanese Village in Knightsbridge, a male dancer and a tea-girl were permitted to give their services to the Savoy management. The dancer was not only polite and refined, but also an accomplished linguist. The tea-girl was responsible for teaching the ladies Japanese deportment: how to walk, run or dance in as tiny and graceful steps as possible, and how to spread and snap the fan to express different emotions.

Therefore, the original production portrayed an exaggerated, yet somehow faithful, image of Japan from an English perspective at that time. In present day, the operetta has sometimes been considered to play too much on stereotypes. However, Gilbert \& Sullivan's intention was only to seek in an exotic setting an opportunity to build a clever and fun critique of their very own English politics and society.

From its inception The Mikado has been heavily based in pure imagination, as Gilbert had never been to Japan himself. It is exactly there where we set our version of this story: in an imaginary world. Already in the overture we meet Wendy, James and Peter, three friends who are folding origami together. They soon start to name their toys and create a world and story for each one of them - the story of The Mikado. As the plot progresses we also learn more about each child's personality; of Wendy's sensitivity and romantic view of the world, Peter's wit and playfulness, and James' stubbornness and sometimes overbearing attitude.

The tale begins when the three children decide to fold origami figures. They play with their creations, naming each one and imagining a story for them. However they don't always agree on the course of the plot...

Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado, fled the imperial court to escape marriage with Katisha. Disguised, he falls in love with Yum-Yum, who is already betrothed to her guardian Ko-Ko, the soft-hearted Lord High Executioner of Titipu. Nanki-Poo is devastated, but in a secret meeting with Yum-Yum he confesses his love, revealing his true identity and the reason why he ran away. Meanwhile, the Mikado sends a letter demanding that an execution is carried out within a month, otherwise Titipu will lose its privileges. Ko-Ko comes up with an ingenious plan after finding out that Nanki-Poo, in his heart-broken misery, has decided to commit suicide. Since he is decided to die, Nanki-Poo should volunteer to be publicly executed instead, thus solving the issue of how to fulfil the Emperor's order. In exchange, Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum can be married for a month prior to his execution. However, Katisha discovers Nanki-Poo's whereabouts, and is not at all willing to let him go... Intersecting love triangles, political intrigue, disguised identities and origami meet in Titipu.

Production Team[edit]

Role Name
Directors Billy Boulton and George Smith
Musical Director David Child
Assistant Musical Directors Liam Chan and Natasha Bennetts
Choreographer Renata SK
Producers Renata SK, Isaac Treuherz, Lucy Rose, and Venetia Matthews
Costumes Amber Courage and Eris Perring
Technical Directors David Young and Tom Pell

Cast[edit]

Role Name
Yum-Yum Amy Wardle
Pitti-Sing Emma Paull
Peep-Bo Amber Courage
Katisha Jenny Samuel
Nanki-Poo Barnaby Wilson
Ko-Ko Ben Walker
Pish-Tush Richard Kille
The Mikado Joe Hand
Wendy Nadia Fundell
Peter Patrick Edwards
James Isaac Treuherz
Chorus Abby Pardoe
Chorus Abigail Smith
Chorus Andrew Wood
Chorus Eris Perring
Chorus Jamie Hizzett
Chorus Julie Hao
Chorus Katie Giles
Chorus Lucia Watts
Chorus Mandy Yuan
Chorus Megan Warinton
Chorus Michelle McInnes
Chorus Renata SK
Chorus Rhiannon Creffield
Chorus Robyn Hunt
Chorus Sabrina Beever
Chorus Steve Jenkins
Chorus Tom Hudson
Chorus Venetia Matthews

Orchestra[edit]

Role Name
Conductor David Child
Violin I Emma Benson and Thomas Dyke
Violin II Peter Welinkar and Nommy Mlalazi
Viola Katie Harding
Cello Kara Jackman
Double Bass Fiona Sunderland
Flute Bethany Lee and Natasha Bennetts
Piccolo Eleanor Philpott
Oboe Jacob Thorne
Clarinet Katie CHappell and Lilian Lee
Bassoon Catriona Gibbon
Trumpet Patrick Wakelam, Billy Fisher and Robbie Smith
Horn Joshua Wright
Trombone Tom Grieg, Will Edwards and Ellie Bristow
Percussion Torjus Martinsen

Technical Team (StageSoc)[edit]

Role Name
Technical Directors David Young and Tom Pell
Lighting Designers George Tucker and Jason Garde
Lighting Operator Martha Fooks
Followspot Operators Georgie Grieve and Phoeve Lewis
Deputy Stage Manager Edmund King
Stage Manager Josh Curry
Sound Crew Oliver Trojak, Zavier Scozzari, Will Barber, Hannah Parsons, Callum Bates
Fly Crew Joseph Lynch, Laurie Kirkcaldy, Adam Taussik