Kirkcaldy Gilbert & Sullivan Society

Review - Mikado 2015

NODA

Looking back at previous years productions, a slight degree of predictability that this version of Mikado be connected somehow with Scotland was, I am sure, allowable – the only question to be answered was “Where in Scotland would that be?” We learned before long that this was to be a twinning with Peterhead, featuring, in the place of Pooh Bah, the ex-Provost of said town, Lord Hamish MacDuff, played in his natural style by Andrew Sim - his introductory line to the Three Little Maids – “Fit like, little girls, fit like” drawing appropriate laughter from the house. The Three Little Maids, Yum-Yum (Jilly Martin), Pitti-Sing (Caroline Warburton) and Peep-Bo (Angela Mitchell) all performed well in both solo and ensemble numbers. Particular mention must go to Peep-Bo for her cheeky characterisation throughout, which introduced yet more humour into the show. As Ko-Ko, director Robin Ozog gave of his wealth of experience, bringing the Lord High Executioner to life. His “Little List” song contained the (now almost obligatory!) “get at a politician” third verse, however, the first two verses were, generously, passed on to the fine tenor voice of Go-To (Bryan McGlashan). Bryan gave an excellent, clear rendition of this well-known song, allowing Ko-Ko time to mingle with the chorus. Craig Rose portrayed a very believable Nanki-Poo, with clear diction and singing at all times, his “Were you not to Ko-Ko plighted” duet with Yum-Yum being a case in point. I should also compliment the singing in the madrigal “Brightly Dawns our Wedding Day” with Yum-Yum, Pitti-Sing, Nanki-Poo and Pish Tush (Niall Aitken). Principal-wise, that leaves The Mikado (Dave Smith) and Katisha. On the evening of my visit, the part of Katisha was played by Elaine Young, but shared on alternate performances with Liz Hutchings. This, I understand, is Elaine’s 5th Katisha, and with her feisty performance, I am sure that (along with “her left shoulder-blade!) it is one that “People come miles to see”! Dave gave a suitably formidable performance in the title role – his clarity of word making the character all the more interesting. Sadly, for reasons best known to Messrs Gilbert & Sullivan the role of The Mikado of Japan is essentially a cameo role – maybe, someday, someone will discover a long-lost song in the Arthur Sullivan archives, written for this character, giving more audience-time to this larger-than-life part. Male and female choruses both sang and moved well, contributing to a colourful production.

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