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The Mikado (1992)

TV Movie  |  Musical, Comedy  |  1992 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 13 users  
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In a mythical Japan, Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor, has been appointed Lord High Executioner and must find someone to execute before the arrival of the ruling Mikado. He lights upon Nanki-Poo, a ... See full summary »


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Title: The Mikado (TV Movie 1992)

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Cast overview:
Fenton Gray ...
Julian Jensen ...
Jill Pert ...
Gary Montaine ...
Lesley Echo Ross ...
Janine Roebuck ...
Terence Sharpe ...
Yvonne Patrick ...
Deryck Hamon ...


In a mythical Japan, Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor, has been appointed Lord High Executioner and must find someone to execute before the arrival of the ruling Mikado. He lights upon Nanki-Poo, a strolling minstrel who loves the beautiful Yum-Yum. But Yum-Yum is also loved by Ko-Ko, and Nanki-Poo, seeing no hope for his love, considers suicide. Ko-Ko offers to solve both their problems by executing Nanki-Poo, and an agreement is reached whereby Ko-Ko will allow Nanki-Poo to marry Yum-Yum for one month, at the end of which Nanki-Poo will be executed, in time for the arrival of the Mikado. But what Ko-Ko doesn't know is that Nanki-Poo is the son of the Mikado and has run away to avoid a betrothal to an old harridan named Katisha. The arrival of the Mikado brings all the threads of the tale together. Written by Jim Beaver <>

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Musical | Comedy





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1992 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Nanki-Poo: Who says 24 hours make a day.
Pitti-Sing: There's a popular impression to that effect.
See more »


Version of The Mikado (1984) See more »

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Superb from start to finish
16 March 2015 | by (Lincoln, NE) – See all my reviews

I write only to add to the above review. I agree with all the observations about performances and voices.

However, I disagree utterly with the disparaging of the production's costume and sets. In calling it weird, I believe the reviewer missed the point. W.S. Gilbert's libretto is first and foremost a satire of Victorian society, but one set in an exotic fantasy. This production makes it clear that The Mikado has almost nothing to do with Japan. Indeed, the name of the mythical town, Titipu, is impossible in Japanese.

The production choice has a double virtue -- it clears away the shopworn "oriental" grounding, with all the racist connotations that are buried in it. Of course, it appropriates some Japanese motifs -- fans, kimonos, samurai garb, and so on -- but it makes them part of fantasy world that contains many other artifacts (a basketball hoop for one). The fantasy itself is lush, startling, and surreal. As such it adds another aesthetic pleasure to the whole experience.

Careful listeners will note that the libretto was updated in some places, such as the list song, to again make satire the centerpiece of the operetta. (A reference to John Major, then the UK's prime minister, infiltrates, for example.)

In the end, however, the comic joy and gorgeous music combine to make a deeply satisfying experience, whether one gets the jokes or recognizes the subtext or not. It's a wonderful piece of work.

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