Director: Margaret Collingwood.
Musical Director: Eric James.
I start with sincere thanks to my friend, mentor and fellow NODA representative Sue Dupont for being away on holiday coterminous with the Golden Jubilee of East Norfolk Operatic Society and for being asked to understudy for her at this production. My thanks also to ENOS for their hospitality at the pre and post production soirees. It was nice to learn several of the original 1959 Mikado Cast and company were present as it made for a logical choice to stage the Mikado in this their jubilee year.
Staged at the Maddermarket, a full house packed into this charming little theatre to witness a real treat aurally and visually. A small orchestra was ensconced in the front auditorium down stage right, and initially four white screens blocked off most of the stage. My first thoughts were; where is the scenery and how on earth will the performers see the MD? I need not have worried though; for this production was so well rehearsed the singers knew when to come in. Once the gentlemen of Japan had introduced themselves and established the scene the screens were struck to reveal a delightfully painted set complete with flowering cherry tree and rustic little bridge.
The colourful costumes and hand props were excellent, especially the wedding cake! Musically this production moved forward at a good pace with the orchestral balance being spot on and in harmony with the singing. Apart from a few (well hardly any) first night nerves this otherwise near faultless production was a fitting tribute to fifty years of theatre. I can't recall seeing a Mikado production where the comedy was so well executed (pardon the pun) as this one. Leading the way were David Ivins (Ko-Ko) with good timing and a laissez-faire approach and Clive Swetman (Pooh-Bah) with comic timing to match and delivered in a "Sir Humphrey" style.
Singing and movement from the whole cast was good with some deft flicks of the fans in time to the music. The three little maids all gave good account of themselves, in particular Joanna Webster (Pitti-Sing), as did all the other principal leads. The jewel in the crown of this production was to see a young man playing the part of Nanki-Poo, and what a first class job Tom Corfield made of this role in all departments. I hope the original members felt a touch of pride in their legacy and the production team proud of their achievement. So when do you plan your holidays for next year Sue?