Review: The Mikado, Kings Theatre, Southsea

The Mikado
The Mikado
The Hotwalls Studios in Old Portsmouth

Light up your festive spirits

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That Gilbert and Sullivan knew their stuff is evidenced by the countless revivals of The Mikado.

Every song is a joy; not a wasted word or note; its structure is perfect.

So – for the G&S purist - to find your favourite operatic pieces replaced by a topsy-turvy version is a trifle disconcerting.

UPDMS producer Charlie Cox and musical director Colin Jagger have opted to perform a mongrel show based, oftentimes, on earlier versions of the songs, re-ordered and extended with amended lyrics; interesting, but jarring.

The cast is one of the strongest UPDMS have fielded in some time.

Honey-voiced Paul Bruce (Nanki-Poo) is partnered by Ella Darmanin as a feisty Yum-Yum.

There’s good character work from Claire Iles (Katisha), Nicholas Waring (Ko-Ko) and James Hallett (Pooh-Bah), while James Barton as the Mikado gives the most intelligent performance; there’s some real style in his delivery.

Jagger’s orchestra is tight, but the music could do with much more pace.