Difference between revisions of "The Mikado"

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== Sources ==
== Sources ==
Unnamed and undated newspaper clipping, circa 1892.
[[Port Elizabeth Gilbert and Sullivan Society]] theatre programme, 1955.
[[Port Elizabeth Gilbert and Sullivan Society]] theatre programme, 1955.

Revision as of 13:21, 10 June 2018

The Mikado; or, The Town of Titipu is a 1885 comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan. [1]

The original text

It has been said that the falling of a Japanese sword from a wall in Gilbert's house gave him the idea of writing this opera. The Mikado, however, was first produced on March 14, 1885, and it was more probably due to a Japanese Exhibition which was held in London in 1884. To give the "artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing" production, Gilbert obtained the services of a Japanese male dancer and a tea girl from Knightsbridge colony to teach the company Japanese deportment, the snapping of fans to denote anger or delight, the little running steps, the giggling and strange hissing of the girls, essential details which have been handed down from one producer to another and which is still faithfully portrayed in modern productions.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

Circa 1892: According to an undated and unnamed newspaper clipping The Mikado was staged by the Port Elizabeth Amateur Operatic Club and presented by the founder of the Operatic Club, Charles William Smart, being "the Conductor". The only clue we have as to the date is a reference to the Mayor, John McIlwraith, who was present at the show. He was Mayor in 1891, 1892 and 1894. It is possible the show was presented in 1892 at the opening of the new Port Elizabeth Opera House. If staged in 1891, before the opening of the Opera House, it would have been staged in the Theatre Royal.

1930: Staged by the Port Elizabeth Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society to celebrate their 200th performance, at the Port Elizabeth Opera House from September 8 - 13. Directed by Edwin George Draycott and produced by Walter Prout. Cast: George Shegog (The Mikado), C Connolly (Nanki-Poo), Leslie Abernethy (Ko-Ko), L G Leppan (Poo-Bah), David McLaren (Pish-Tush), Mrs Gordon Robson (Yum-Yum), Mrs Ian Rae (Pitti-Sing), Mrs G Hart (Peep-Bo), Dorothy McClelland (Katisha).

Staged by the Port Elizabeth Gilbert & Sullivan Society in 1936, 1946, 1955, 1966 and 1977.

1955: Port Elizabeth City Hall from June 21 - 25. Produced by Will Jamieson with Merle Loveless as Musical Director. Scene and costumes were loaned by the King William's Town Amateur and Dramatic Society. Cast: Robert Searle (The Mikado), Arch Taylor (Nanki-Poo), Herbert Henderson (Ko-Ko), Basil McGrath (Pooh-Bah), C Fuller Peterson (Pish-Tush), Hubertus de Vries (Go-To), Rhoda Tiltman (Yum-Yum), Dee Hart (Pitti-Sing), Judith Murray (Peep-Bo) and Alida Louw (Katisha).

Staged by the Cape Town Gilbert and Sullivan Society in 1948, 1951, 1955, 1960, 1965, 1968, 1977, 1986, 1994 and 2015.

1962: Staged by the JODS in the Alexander Theatre, directed by Anthony Farmer, with Louis Kernick (Pish Tush), Leslie Phillips (Nanki-Poo), Derrick Lewis (Ko-Ko), Harold Lake (Pooh-Bah), Marjorie van Zyl (Yum-Yum), June Hern (Petti-Sing), Jean Steagemann (Peep-Bo), Nohline Mitchell (Katisha) and Harry Hambleton (The Mikado of Japan). Musical direction by Edward Dunn and settings by Farmer.

1985: A centenary production, sponsored by the JODS Trust, was staged in the Wits Theatre Complex in May/June. directed by Joseph Ribeiro, choreography by Jill Waterman and the Wits Orchestra conducted by Professor Walter Mony.

1986: Directed by Teddy Davies for the Cape Town Gilbert and Sullivan Society and performed in the Baxter Theatre. The cast included Peter Kramer, Henry Lankester, Christopher Gilmour, Cliff Downey and others.

Done by the Turffontein Operatic Society in 19** at the Standard Theatre for the Patriotic Fund. Among the performers were Charles Sparrow,


Unnamed and undated newspaper clipping, circa 1892.

Port Elizabeth Gilbert and Sullivan Society theatre programme, 1955.

JODS theatre programme, 1962.

Wits Theatre programme, 1985.

Barrow, Brian & Williams-Short, Yvonne 1988. (1986 production, Cape Town).

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