Paul Johnson | 03 Dec 2015 19:32pm
The introductory story during the overture was cleverly conceived and executed. It was well choreographed, beautifully danced by Lydia McNulty and was paced to perfection. The staging was innovative, in moving the action to 1920s London.
Jenny Jordan made a first-class Yum-Yum, her songs well sung, and getting it just right as the giggly school-girl. She was well supported by Helen Whittle and Lydia McNulty as Pitti-Sing and Peep-Bo to complete the ’three little maids from school’. Helen especially came over well in her solo and concerted numbers.
Lynda Barrett-Mercer gave us a strong Katisha, well-sung, strongly acted, and with some evil facial expressions; Ziggi Szafranski sang Nanki-Poo well and brought out all the humour in the character. Nigel Cassidy gave a strong performance as Ko-Ko. I would have liked a little more light and shade, and for him to have been a bit more deferent and obsequious. The patter songs were a high-light.
Jon Fox played Pooh-Bah to perfection – just right, and clearly born with a sneer on his face! Paul Cox was perhaps rather gentle as the Mikado – a more dominant, if not domineering, portrayal might have suited the character better. Pish-Tush is one of the more demanding of the G & S supporting roles, and Iain Cannell handled it competently.
The ‘chorus’ supported the show splendidly – especially the school girls, clearly on loan from St Trinian’s! Congratulations to Ziggi on an excellent set design. The lighting design was very well conceived, with some excellent effects, and of course expertly executed by Steve Farr. The sound too was fine – no special effects needed for this show, but everyone could be clearly heard, but set to a level to sound natural (sadly not always the case nowadays, especially in professional theatres).
This was a first-class and thoroughly enjoyable production of which MMT can be justly proud.
This was Bee Cassidy’s directorial debut, and although she expresses thanks in her programme note for various helping hands, she deserves full credit for the final result, with good use of the stage, crisp and pointed dialogue, and a good pace maintained throughout.
- : admin
- : 15/11/2013