Concept Players present The Mikado

By W.S Gilbert & A. Sullivan

 

Ladies chorusThe Concept Players don't like to make things easy for anyone, least of all the cast, so this production by Janet Holloway was the most difficult in terms of choreographed movements so far.

The whole show was based on an evening entertainment in a middle class household of the time, with Mr Gilbert and Mr Sullivan as special guests invited to see the after-dinner puppet show put on by the children of the household.

Magically, the puppet show turned into a full-size version of the Mikado, with all the characters being puppets of various kinds, and all worked by strings from above. Naturally, the puppeteers were less than experts, and several puppets were seen to collapse slowly into heaps on the floor as the young operators arms grew tired!

As an added innovation, Nanki-Pooh had a magic lozenge which he used to make the puppets come alive in the Finale of Act 1, after the wicked (and self-propelled) Katisha cut their strings! All except Ko-Ko, of course, who frustratingly remained attached to his strings which kept catching in the scenery! (If the significance of the word lozenge is lost on you, check out some of the G & S sources on the Web!)

It was by far the most disciplined show the group we had attempted at the time, and a major change from our usual improvised style of performance. But it seemed to work - we had the biggest audience we have had in our history - very nearly a sell-out! And a flood of compliments came back on our market research slips!

The Concept Players do not distinguish between chorus and principals: everyone is a principal, and acts his or her own individual character throughout the performance. As a consequence, the cameos going on in the corners of the stage sometimes prove to be the high spots of the show - but of course you have to see the show more than once to see it all!

We hope that our off-beat sense of the ridiculous continues to complement Gilbert's outrageous plots, and that you will be able to join us for our next riotous version of a G&S favourite.

 

 

Katisha and Koko

 

This is one of the few shows which we have done two seasons of across the year.

The 2011 version was very different again.