The Mikado

Date 12th June 2015
Society Matlock G & S Society
Venue Medway Community Centre, Bakewell
Type of Production Musical
Director Angela Robinson
Musical Director Melanie Gilbert


Author: Joyce Handbury

Supposedly, as a Banner hoisted at the back of the stage informed us, the staging of The Mikado was to have been held outdoors in The Bath Gardens but because of the inclement weather the company had to return to the Medway Centre. Unfortunately, some of the cast had decided to stop off at the pub and some of the young girls had decided to go to a school disco. We were told about all this by the Producer, Angela Robinson, who then proceeded to notice people in the audience from earlier productions and invited them to come on down and help out so that the ‘show could go on’ which of course they duly did and played along by adding certain items to their costume or being a little uncertain of what everyone else was doing and later, The Mikado, even read from the back of his fan. The producer kept interrupting at various times to tell us of further problems etc. - it was a very creative and imaginative approach. Andrew Moore was ideal as Nanki Poo his natural acting skills and good singing voice were very much in evidence. Two of the ‘Three Little Maids’ playing Yum-Yum and Peep-Bo had decided not to go to the ‘School Disco’, (although in real-life they are schoolgirls) and I’m so glad they didn’t! Yum-Yum was delightfully played by Lizzy Blades in her first lead role with the company. She has such a sweet voice and her singing of “The Sun Whose Rays are all Ablaze” was most impressive. Lizzy was well supported by the two other maids, Liddy Buswell as Peep-Bo, a lovely singer and a very natural actress and Susan Devaney (no longer a schoolgirl I suspect), was fine as Pitti Sing. They made a charming trio and the singing of “Three Little Maids” was lovely and they even managed to take a few ‘selfies’! Nic Wilson was excellent in the role of Ko-Ko. His comic timing and facial expressions are superb and the amusing and updating of “I’ve Got a Little List” included X-Factor, I-pads, the Peak Planning Board and a proposed supermaket in Bakewell was brilliantly delivered as was the rendition of “Willow, tit-willow”. Max Taylor, as the corrupt and arrogant Pooh Bah who holds every official title going including that of High Sheriff of High Peak, was appropriately splendidly pompous, and his singing was oustanding. Cathreen Henwood was an effective Katisha and though her singing voice is not particularly strong she excelled in her portrayal of the varying aspects of the character and what an incredible head-dress! Chris Hannant gives a creditable performance as Pish Push as does Richard Simmonds as The Mikado. Throughout, the singing from the principals and the chorus was sublime and together with a first-rate orchestra it resulted in a most entertaining, enjoyable and cleverly conceived production and as the ‘Three Little Maids’ said, “Everything is a source of fun” and indeed, this show was just that!