EPS Review #26 - The Mikado

Patricia surprised me at work yesterday evening, the evening of my birthday, and took me to the Savoy Hotel for a (predictably mediocre) meal by the river windows, and then a performance of The Mikado at the adjoining Savoy Theater (first visit for me). Both hotel and theater were originally built with money from D'Oyly Carte's association with G&S, and it closed 117 years later in 1982. I should now apologise to my mother, who tried to take my sister and me to a show in the 1970's, but we refused. Teen-agers! It has since re-opened, and I recommend a visit. Some people like G&S, and some people don't I guess. P couldn't make it through the video of Topsy Turvy, which I liked a lot and plan to see again. But then she likes ballet, so go figure.

I enjoyed this production. Yum Yum (Jacqueline Varsey) came across as very minxy ("This is What I'll Never Do") and had a terrific voice. Pitti Sing (Maria Jones) had a very weak voice, though the programme says she has sung the lead in Carmen, so perhaps she was having an off day. Still, this nearly spoiled several numbers. The topical additions to the "little list", like scooters and genetically engineered foods, were wittily rhymed, and the singer was accompanied by some disembodied heads on poles. The beautiful madrigal was counterpointed by some enjoyably English silliness with a silver tea set. But Katisha (Deborah Hawksley) and Ko Ko (Richard Suart) stole the show with "There is Beauty in Extreme Old Age", and some some excellently kinky costume changes. Royce Mills played Pooh-Bah very funnily, and I see in the credits that he was the voice of the Daleks in Dr Who! Go see!

My mother wrote: Ah, how sweet .....altho I didn't hear any real apology ......! Sounds like a lovely evening. Trust P to come up with something fun and different.

Jan wrote: We saw The Mikado in NYC years ago (early 80s maybe) and enjoyed it a lot. Went to see Topsy Turvy in the theatre - unusual because we rarely get out to the movies. I really liked it, but S didn't particularly, although he did agree the stage production parts were beautiful and the music lovely. But I grew up with G&S; my father was a big fan and often sang the songs. He really enjoyed regaling us with the clever lyrics.

Ravi wrote: M and I saw this a few weeks ago. I love the theatre. Quite liked the Mikado too. Do you know that Gilbert lived in Grim's Dyke which is very close to Stanmore/Radlett? I very much want to see Topsy Turvy - had an extremely limited run in the cinema.