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December 5, 2012updated 10 May 2016 5:21am

Review: The Mikado, ENO

By Spear's

With a rump-tee-tum-tee-tum spring in my step I happily took my seat for a joyous revival of Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed Mikado at the ENO

With a rump-tee-tum-tee-tum spring in my step I happily took my seat for a joyous revival of Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed Mikado at the ENO. This production is 25 years old now and still as fresh, funny and innovative as it was in 1986.

Its topsy-turvy flip of a Japanese operetta staged as a 1930s British farce in a smart hotel turns every joke on its head with doubled hilarity. You won’t find any kimonos here, but what you will find is plenty of French maids, lacrosse sticks, golf swings and gin cocktails. It’s simply spiffing.

Veteran performers Yvonne Howard and Richard Angas (in a terrible fat suit) gave us masterful performances as Katisha and the Mikado, and the unsurpassable Richard Suart, with his Leslie Phillips depiction of Ko-Ko, the Lord Executioner, delighted us with his up to the minute satirical version of the famous List Song.

It is of course G&S tradition to add a little current day satirical wit in this song but Suart has surpassed himself in this version: jibes against an MP who is no longer in the jungle, Pippa Middleton’s new book, the departure of George Entwistle and a hilarious pun about Starbucks were on the list as he had the audience roaring with laughter. It is worth going to see this fabulous production for this rendition alone. Suart is a true master of his craft and he made me rather jealous because I thought I was the Satirical Queen in this city.

Stefanos Lazardis’ foreshortened cream set and wonderful costumes by Sue Blane were elegant and fun. Mary Bevan’s Yum Yum was a wholesome delight; her silver-toned singing and superb depiction of a young gal were unsurpassable.

It was a fabulous musical romp with cut-glass accents, well-timed jokes and great gags, all elegantly conducted by David Parry. This is a must-see for Christmas.

The Mikado runs for twelve performances until January 26 2013

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