Not being a huge Gilbert & Sullivan fan, I am always wary of 'updated' versions, but this swinging, jazzy version grabbed, held and kept my attention throughout.
The casting was spot on. Each member of the main cast got their part right. Jack Lloyd's loved up Nanki-Poo was perfectly acted and I was very impressed with his singing. The three little maids, Liberty Watts as Yum-Yum, Kate Smith as Piit-Sing and Rachel Watson as Peep-Bo, all sang amazingly well, faultlessly one might say. Allister Smith's Ko-Ko was every bit as funny as it could possibly be, aided by the multi-accented Lloyd Benson as Pooh-Bah. Kerry Cooke's Katisha put me in mind of a Disney villain, cackling, sneering her way through the show.
I can not pick out particular songs as each and every one was sung so well, which shows the amazing talent of the whole cast and the musical director, Ian Southgate, and the orchestra secreted at the back of the stage.
Something I do want to comment on is the fact that somehow, and I am not sure how, Louise Byrne as the director / choreographer managed to get the whole cast dancing a kind of lindy-hop on the reduced area (thanks to being 'in the round') without any mistakes! Very impressive. As impressive as arranging the whole cast on the raised area / steps. It was almost as if the Brentwood Theatre could not hold Shenfield's talented performers. Unfortunately there were a few occasions when the whole cast was on stage, because of where I was sat, some of the action was blocked from my view, but this is not surprising with a cast of 30. This did not however take anything from the show for me as this did not last long.
Hot Mikado was an amazing, faultless show which coming from a G & S skeptic, shows how good it actually was.
Shenfield Operatic Society's next show will be Betty Blue Eyes in February 2018.