28 Mar

By Gilbert and Sullivan
At the Kings Head Theatre
Probably the best known of all the Savoy operas, and of course, as performed by the Charles Court Opera Company, it is seen at it very best.
The comedy is sublime. This is one of the few occasions that John Savournin is not taking part, but he has directed this show perfectly for the open plan thrust stage and it works a dream. I am particularly taken by the divine heartless comedy. Koko is played by Philip Lee, a comic actor and singer worthy of his hire as he enters into the crazy world and witty wordplay of Gilbert. It took me a long time to figure out how he found his curious style London accent and eventually came up with Michael Crawford in some Mothers do Ave ‘em. I wonder if I got it right.
Nanki-Poo is played by Jack Roberts ..a fresh faced young man with an exceptional tenor voice and he handles the tremendously complicated ‘Wandering Minstrel’ song as easily as if it was ‘Sing a song of sixpence’. Matthew Kellett looking like an elegant moustached cad is exceptionally impressive as Pooh-Bah in one of the great GS comedy parts.
The whole thing takes place at the British consulate in Japan Pish-Tush, Poo-Bah and KoKo sing ‘If you want to know who we are. We are gentlemen IN Japan’ and it is in modern dress. The men look handsome in their diplomat style suits and I love the little girls in their gym slips but not so keen on their wedding gear in Act two – they are pretty, but would have liked a little more glamour. Alys Roberts is a delightful heroine Yum Yum, Jessica Temple and Corinne Cowling are lovely as Pitti-Sing and Peep-Bo. The Mikado himself {Matthew Palmer) is dressed as a General and Matthew Sivetere is his daughter in law elect – Katisha in exotic female dress.
It goes without saying that the singing as in all Charles Court productions is simply superb Every one of those actors can sing up a storm and play the fool just as easily.
The final glory of course is the love scene between Katisha and Ko-ko which runs between heavy drama, cuteness, slapstick and witty dialogue all in the space of a few minutes. {I am always moved by the story of the Tom Tit which illustrates my personal idiocy.}
A terrific crowd pleasing production. Pure comedy and song with some satirical/topical items which fit in perfectly.

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