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The Mikado

Date

12th November 2012

Society

Haworth-West Lane Baptist Amateur Operatic Society

Venue

Haworth West Lane Baptist Chapel

Type of Production

Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta

Director

Michael Lofthouse

Musical Director

Pamela Dimbleby

Report

Author: Leslie Appleyard

This year the ever inventive director, after being inspired by seeing mannequins displayed in a local dress shop window, decided to set the operetta in an elegant department store. The stage manager and members of the society created a superb set for this venue to Michael’s design, even using shop fittings and the mannequins which were borrowed from the same shop. Then every directors’ worst nightmare happened, when, in the run up to the show, Robert Driver, the lead tenor was taken ill and was unable to take part in the production. At this late hour a search for an available replacement was proving difficult, but luckily Leon Waksburg stepped into the role of Nanki Poo and what a good job he did. There was some very funny interaction between him and John Ramsdin’s Poo-Bah who in this production was Head of the Menswear Department and James Hutton as Pish-Tush Head of the Ladies’ Department. This was Gilbert & Sullivan with a hint of ‘Are You Being Served’. The three little Maids giggled and sang delightfully throughout, they were Yum-Yum - Charissa Hutchins, Pitti-Sing - Gill Dobson and Peep-Bo - Rebekah Day. The role of High Excecutioner was superbly performed by the excellent patter man Roly Robertshaw, especially his appropriately topical ‘Little List’. Other experienced principals were Bill Bairstow as the Mikado alias The Chairman of the Company, who was in good voice, as was Janine McAndrew’s formidable Katisha, especially in a magnificent My-ya Sama with the Ladies and Gentlemens Chorus of Shop Assistants and Customers, who were all smartly attired and what’s more, every one of them wore clean shoes, which aren’t seen in many productions nowadays.