Boasting some wonderful singing, this bright and breezy adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic brings little that is fresh to the show, but captures much of the sense of fun that makes it such a popular piece to watch. Disguised as a wandering minstrel, Nanki-Poo, son of The Mikado of Japan, finds himself in the town of Titipu searching for his lost love Yum-Yum. However, hindering their chance to be together is the new Lord High Executioner, Ko-Ko, who needs to find someone to put to death before long or else he’s getting the chop.
The show could have done with a more inventive vision and at two hours – with a five minute interval - it isn’t a typical Fringe musical. Even so, the oft-adapted song ‘As Some Day It May Happen’ has some funny modern innovations, when Ko-Ko, played with fluffiness by Christopher Moon-Little, outlaws Twitter and Facebook and declares ‘Christian Grey will not be missed.
Many of the cast are fabulous singers, especially Laurie Slavin as Nanki-Poo and Celena Bridge as Yum-Yum, although I had trouble caring any more than superficially for their characters. Indeed, while the cast’s singing is often faultless, the acting is sometimes found wanting and when The Mikado finally arrives midway through the second act the show slows; the play appears, for perhaps the first time, like the amateur performance it is. For a comic musical there needed to be more ostensible comedy, but this is an engaging production with some possible stars of the future.