The Mikado

The Mikado
By Arthur Sullivan and W.S. Gilbert. Savoyards @ Iona Performing Arts Centre, Wynnum, Brisbane. Director: Eric Hauff. Musical Director: Steven McKay. Choreographer: Lynne Swain. 24 September – October 8, 2011.

Savoyards first produced The Mikado on 2 November 1961. It was their inaugural production, so what better way to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary than to revive Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular comic opera.

This straight-forward traditional production, complete with bits of pantomime and burlesque, was in the capable directing hands of Eric Hauff, who certainly knows his way around the G&S canon.

Andrew Scheiwe was head and shoulders above the rest of the cast in the iconic role of Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner. Self-assured, commanding, with the right touch of comedy, he was undoubtedly the star of the performance. Jordan Ross, despite some voice problems in his upper register, was an appealing Nanki-Poo, while Julie Eisentrager showed off her impressive vocal range as Yum-Yum.

Although the role’s not written for a soprano, Jacequline Atherton acquitted herself well as Katisha, Neil Ballment was a fine Mikado, but John Rae’s Pooh-Bah let the side down time and time again. It was obvious the role was way beyond him.

Sets and costumes were a big plus, and while the tempi of the orchestra under Steven McKay was at times a little too andante, in some respects it worked for the production, allowing the audience to clearly hear every one of Gilbert’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Best vocal performance of the night was the second act trio “Here’s a how-de-do!” It was a delight and sung with a professional flourish.

Peter Pinne      

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.


To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.