10 September 2012
Opera Anywhere presents The Mikado by Gilbert & Sullivan

"Designed and directed by Paula Chitty"

A review by Nicholas Newman

Last Sunday afternoon (9 September, 2012), Opera Anywhere brought its 2012 production of Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera to Oxford. Despite the unusual summer heat, and the small team of players, the performance was excellent. The atmosphere was like a good garden party, I was amazed how the performers managed to gamble across the stage and amongst the audience seated in the Greek style open air amphitheatre, atop the Said Business School. At times the wind blew some of the props out of position and at times it was difficult to hear the music. Even so despite these minor technical hitches, it did not stop enjoyment of this fun afternoon.

Basically the story is set in small town medieval Japan, though it could easily have been set in small town America or Italy. It is about love, marriage, corruption and local politics, a plot line that many fans of romantic novels would find very familiar. This production was clearly aimed at many local Gilbert and Sullivan fans that love this classic of English theatre. At various points in the production the audience broke into spontaneous cheering, clapping and laughing with joy, without being prompted. Many especially appreciated the names included in the Lord High Executioner's execution list. These included many well-known celebrities and those current bad boys in the news ‘the bankers’. For many the comic seduction scene between the Lord High Executioner and Katishsa was at times very moving and heartfelt.

Amazingly, despite a virtual lack of complex scene furniture, Opera Anywhere managed to encourage us to easily believe we were in mediaeval Japan, rather than atop one of Oxford's newest buildings. What is very clear from talking to various members of the audience at the end, that everyone had very enjoyable and entertaining summer afternoon out. I can't wait to see Opera Anywhere’s next new productions. Opera Anywhere is worth seeing anywhere, so make it a date in your diary!



The next time you can see the Mikado is Saturday 13th October at 7pm - Cotswold Playhouse, Parliament Street, Stroud GL5 1LW.

For cast members

Paula Chitty directs for the first time for Opera Anywhere

Nia Williams is our music director who also accompanies the performance on piano (some performances include an orchestra and some with Nick Planas on flute).

Pooh Bah - David Ireland

Pish Tush - Edwin Pitt Mansfield

Nanki Poo - Lawrence Olsworth-Peter

Ko Ko - Mike Woodward

Yum Yum - Myvanwy Bentall

Yum Yum - Paloma Bruce

Pitti Sing - Sarah-Ann Cromwell

Peep Bo - Katie Blackwell

Peep Bo - Nikki Bagshaw

Katisha - Vanessa Woodward

Mikado - Christopher Jacklin

Pitti Sing & Pooh Bah - Sian Millett

For future Opera Anywhere’s productions.

Saturday 20th October at 7.30pm - Tosca On The Big Screen at Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham

The 2011 Royal Opera House production shown on the big screen in high definition sound and video
Tickets £15
Online or 01242 707338

Saturday 8th December at 7.30pm - The Mikado at Maltings Art Centre, St Albans

Tickets £15 Online or 0844 8700 887


Friday 1st February at 7.30pm - The Mikado at The Kenton Theatre Henley

Ticket information to be announced soon!


 1st Aerials Oxford




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