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The Mikado (1983)

6.6
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Escaping from a distasteful marriage, Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado, arrives in the town of Titipu - disguised as a musician. He has chosen Titipu because a beautiful girl, Yum-Yum, with... See full summary »

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Title: The Mikado (TV Movie 1983)

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Kate Flowers ...
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Anne Collins ...
Stafford Dean ...
Gordon Sandison ...
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Storyline

Escaping from a distasteful marriage, Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado, arrives in the town of Titipu - disguised as a musician. He has chosen Titipu because a beautiful girl, Yum-Yum, with whom he has fallen in love, lives in the town. A desire to marry Yum-Yum, however, is not enough. Nanki-Poo has to contend with her guardian, Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner, who has every intention of marrying Yum-Yum, himself. Problems are compounded when the Mikado, accompanied by Katisha, Nanki-Poo's jilted bride, also arrive in the hitherto peaceful town of Titipu. Written by David McAnally <D.McAnally@uq.net.au>

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Musical | Comedy

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18 August 1983 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

The Town of Titipu  »

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William S. Gilbert appears in the introduction, in the form of a still photograph. See more »

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Version of The Mikado (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

What a mess!
30 June 2003 | by (Titipu) – See all my reviews

As a true Gilbert and Sullivan lover, I have Much to say about this recording:

This production Of Mikado is one I could barely sit through. To start with, the staging is less than inspired. Katisha makes her first entrance in a hot air balloon, and keeps her goggles on throughout `Oh Fools who flee-est my hollowed joys'. Ko-Ko is born on in a palanquin by sumo wrestlers. The Mikado himself makes his entrance on a train, whereupon his ticket is stamped by a Samuri. And the dancing! Five minutes into `If you Want to know who we are' I was screaming `Fire the Chorographer!' My views on the dancing were close to being changed by the exuberant `With Joyous shout', but then came the poorly staged `A More Humane Mikado', with the subjects acting out the parts of the society offenders in front of the bored looking Mikado.

The Costumes were another low point. Why in God's name was everyone in mundane versions traditional Japanesse dress, but Pooh Bah is dressed in Victorian evening wear?! The Designer was definetly asleep at the wheel, there. And what is Nanki-Poo doing with a Modern TROMBONE? I know he played the instrament with the band, but he is now just a wondering Minstreal (I).

I have Mixed feelings about the set. The Act One courtyard set is bare and boring, as are the interior sets for `A More Humane Mikado' and the finale. However, the first scene of Act two takes place in a beautiful garden, compleate with babbling brook. The set returns for `Hearts do not break'.

The Cast is, of a majority, is at fault. William Conrad's Mikado and Gordon Sandison's Pooh Bah are the worst offenders. Conrad sleepwalkes through the role of the Mikado, looking like Orson Wells spouting a Fu Machu mustache, and singing and acting like he'd rather be having a root canal. Sandison's annoying Pooh Bah speaks and sings like one of Monty Python's Upper-Class Twits, prances around the stage hideously during `Our great Mikado' and behaves rather like a ham sandwich. John Stewart gives a incredibly bland Nanki Poo, who literaly puts the male chorus to sleep with his rendition of `A Wandering Minstrel I'. He plays his loves scenes like a newscaster, reading his lines with absolutely no emotion. Cynthia Buchan's Pitti-Sing fares little better, giving a girlish, annoying performance of `For He's going to marry Yum Yum'. As for the Chorus, it too, seems to be laboring hard to simply enjoy themselves.

I am not saying the cast is without Merit. Clive Revill's Ko Ko is rather good, but he then again, he could probably do the part in his sleep. However, he gives it his all. Kate Flower gives an impressive Yum Yum with a wonderful `The Sun whose Rays', a coquettish little innocent with a practical streak. I preferred her as Phyliss in IOLANTHE, but she is very good. Fiona Dobie does well with what she's given with the nothing part of Peep Boh, a shame, as she would have made an excellent Pitti. If Buchan and Dobie had simply switched roles, the piece would have improved greatly.

However, the Hilights of the cast are most definetly Stafford Dean's Pooh Bah and Anne Collins' Katisha. A surprisingly young-looking and slim Pooh-Dah, Dean gives a entergenic regal, and absolutely hysterical rendition of Pooh Bah, especially in the `Speaking as your Private Secretary' scene.

He also sings like a true Bass-Baratone. Collins gives a heart-breaking, tragic, yet arogant Katisha, perfect in every way. Yet even these two steller troppers and their three strong supporters (Flowers, Revill and Doboe) cannot make up for the bland production and the miscast singers. What a mess.


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