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The Mikado (1992)

TV Movie  -  Musical | Comedy  -  1992 (UK)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 12 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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Cast overview:
Fenton Gray ...
Julian Jensen ...
Jill Pert ...
Gary Montaine ...
Lesley Echo Ross ...
Janine Roebuck ...
Terence Sharpe ...
Yvonne Patrick ...
Deryck Hamon ...
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Musical | Comedy

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1992 (UK)  »

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Quotes

Nanki-Poo: Sir, I have the misfortune to love your ward, Yum-Yum. Oh, I know I deserve your anger!
Ko-Ko: Anger! not a bit, my boy. Why, I love her myself. Charming little girl, isn't she? Pretty eyes, nice hair. Taking little thing, altogether. Very glad to hear my opinion backed by a competent authority. Thank you very much. Good-bye.
[to Pish-Tush]
Ko-Ko: Take him away.
[Pish-Tush removes him]
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Version of Fan Fan (1918) See more »

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Musically, the production is good; visually it is appallingly weird
10 May 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Mikado is one of Gilbert and Sullivan's finest operettas, I can't decide actually which is my favourite out of Mikado or Pirates of Penzance. Though all of G&S operettas do a great job at cheering you up after a hard day. This production has some good things, but when it's not-so-good it is quite bad actually.

Let's start with the good things. The production is certainly better musically than it is visually. The orchestra play with zesty style and beautiful sound. The chorus are similarly effective, singing vibrantly and with involvement. The conducting keeps things moving nicely. The cast is a strong one, Julian Jensen is likable enough as Nanki-Poo with an attractive voice. He doesn't seem as involved as some, then again there are members of the cast that really, really come alive on stage. Lesley Echo Ross is an alluring Yum-Yum, Gary Montaine is an amusing Pooh-Bah and the Mikado of Deryk Hamon has a commanding presence. The two best were Fenton Gray and Jill Pert. From his towering entrance, Gray's robust voice and genius comic timing makes for a truly memorable Ko-Ko. And Pert's Katisha is both moving and spine-tingling. The production deserves credit also for using Were you not to Ko-Ko Plighted and Hearts do not break in their two-verse form, which give the songs a more complete feel as a result.

Unfortunately, the negatives come from how the production looks, appallingly weird is how I described it and while that sounds harsh that is how it looked to me. The sets are bizarre and austere, I missed the pretty oriental look I'm used to and it gave an impression that the production was set in a time and place different to that shown in the libretto(very soecific too). The costumes are also horrible, Katisha and the Mikado look as though they had just stepped out of Star Wars by mistake, imagine if you had a slightly more chubby version of Yoda and you have the costuming for Katisha. And I do not have a clue what intentions there were to have the chorus dressed first as prisoner escapees and then in wellington boots and aprons(if you're finding this weird just reading, just you wait until you see it). The choreography and staging are also a let-down, the dialogue and its delivery are good but the humour, charm and wit is not reflected in how the production was staged.

In conclusion, some good(the singing-especially for Ko-Ko and Katisha-, orchestra and chorus), some bad(staging, costumes, sets), summing up it is a production that evoked a mixed response to me. The Eric Idle, Stratford and even the 1939 productions are more ideal and far superior in my mind. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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