Hot Mikado
Nomination - Best Choreography (Bolton Evening News)
8th - 13th November 2004
Photographs by John Tustin
Production Officials
Director Nora Howcroft
Musical Director Adrienne Wormald
Choreographer Catherine Pilkington
Pish-Tush Don Fairclough
Pooh-Bah Steve Benson
Nanki-Poo Simon Pickup
Ko-Ko David Wilson
Pitti-Sing Allison Smith
Yum-Yum Vicki Wilson
Peep-Bo Lindsay Farnworth
Katisha Kathy Turton
The Mikado Dave Reeves
Ladies of Titipu
Jane Bickerstaffe, Carole Brooks, Ann Colman, Karen Evans, Julie Kirby, Teresa Neary-Morris, Lisa Oldbury, Gill Pollitt, Helen Popplewell, Ruth Prescott, Liz Pycroft, Claire Saunders, Eileen Taylor, Janet Witt
Gentlemen of Titipu
Mike Bailey, Paul Duckworth, Mike Fallon, Alan Hitchen, Andrew Turton, David Witt, Kevan Worsley
Mikado Showgirls
Carole Brooks, Karen Evans, Julie Kirby, Teresa Neary-Morris, Lisa Oldbury, Gill Pollitt, Helen Popplewell, Liz Pycroft
Off-stage Chorus
Jamie Haddow, Sharron Knott, Jill Marsden, Barbara Martin, Keith McEvoy, Zoe Pollitt, Mary Pycroft, Philip Smith, Elizabeth Williams
  • Nanki-Poo "A Wandering Minstrel" Nanki-Poo "A Wandering Minstrel"
  • Yum-Yum Yum-Yum
  • The Mikado surrounded by dancing girls The Mikado surrounded by dancing girls
  • Ko-Ko Ko-Ko
  • Katisha Katisha
  • Pooh-Bah "I Am So Proud" Pooh-Bah "I Am So Proud"
  • Yum-Yum and Nanki-Poo Yum-Yum and Nanki-Poo
  • Pish-Tush talks to Nanki-Poo Pish-Tush talks to Nanki-Poo
  • Pitti-Sing Pitti-Sing
  • "Braid The Raven Hair" "Braid The Raven Hair"
  • Katisha claims Nanki-Poo Katisha claims Nanki-Poo
  • Peep-Bo Peep-Bo
  • Nanki-Poo is rescued by Ko-Ko Nanki-Poo is rescued by Ko-Ko
  • The Mikado and Company The Mikado and Company
  • Yum-Yum, Pitti-Sing and Peep-Bo "Three Little Maids" Yum-Yum, Pitti-Sing and Peep-Bo "Three Little Maids"
  • Yum-Yum "The Sun and I" Yum-Yum "The Sun and I"
  • Yum-Yum, Nanki-Poo and Ko-Ko Yum-Yum, Nanki-Poo and Ko-Ko
  • Ko-Ko and Katisha "Tit Willow" Ko-Ko and Katisha "Tit Willow"
  • The Company The Company

  • Bolton Evening News Review
  • NODA North West News Review
Temperatures may be falling outside, but Nora Howcroft's flashy, dynamic, deliriously upbeat production turns up the heat until it bursts the barometer. It is rowdy, colourful and quite simply terrific.

This 1986 update of the classic Gilbert and Sullivan Japanese operetta has thrilled audiences worldwide, and Walmsley have put their stamp on the show, and claimed their place in the canon. Every song is given a vivacious infusion of jazz, swing or blues, and Catherine Pilkington's immaculate choreography, coupled with stunning costumes, leaves you dazzled. Or they would, if the music from Adrienne Wormald's orchestra didn't carry you away.

Simon Pickup is a brilliant, edgy Nanki-Poo, while Steve Benson, as ever, is superb as Pooh-Bah, the captain of cool. Vicki Wilson is lovely as a feisty, thoroughly modern Yum-Yum, and Dave Reeves (a delight to see him again) is a hilarious, camp Mikado. Both David Wilson (Ko-Ko) and Kathy Turton (Katisha) are simply outstanding. Wilson plays his Lord High Executioner with the wily panic of Sergeant Bilko, while Turton, whose two solo numbers are supreme show-stoppers, elicits genuine sympathy for a comic figure.

There is excellent support from principals Don Fairclough, Allison Smith and Lindsay Farnworth, while the impeccably drilled chorus make this a sassy, sparkling party that the audience justifiably cheered to the rafters. this is a big, bright classic.

Nigel McFarlane
A vibrant, glitzy production from director Nora Howcroft with excellent choreography from Catherine Pilkington and an orchestra which handled the complex mixture of styles, and took the music at pace, under the direction of Adrienne Wormald.

The staging was simple but effective and good use was made of the various levels. The society also paraded a line up of accomplished principals. A sound performance came from Don Fairclough (Pish-Tush) whilst Steve Benson put in a smooth, relaxed portrayal of the latter day spin-doctor, Pooh-Bah.

Simon Pickup made an excellent Nanki-Poo whilst Dave Reeves, appearing like a phoenix from amongst a bevy of be-feathered dancers, was a rather "affected" Mikado. Concentration on the plot slipped at this point due to the veritable forest of shapely limbs (Oh – what we put ourselves through for the sake of our art?).

The three little maids were played by Vicki Wilson (Yum-Yum). Alison Smith (Pitti-Sing) and Lindsay Farnworth (Peep-Bo). All three gave great performances and were vocally strong. The jewels in the crown were David Wilson (Ko-Ko) and Kathy Turton (Katisha). David's timing was impeccable as the Sgt. Bilko styled Ko-Ko whilst Kathy's solo numbers were from the uppermost branches of the musical tree.

Dazzling costumes along with good chorus work and dancing rounded off what was an exceedingly enjoyable show.

Glyn Neary

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