Sasha Regan’s all-male The Mikado ★★★★ Wilton's Music Hall | Jun 7 - Jul 1, 2023


Gilbert and Sullivan's most popular operetta is back with an all-male version from director Sasha Regan. As with all of Regan's all male-versions of the the G & S oeuvre, this production's choreography and singing are impeccable. It is wonderful to hear un-microphoned (i.e. undistorted) voices and to have the lyrics enunciated to the point where they are comprehensible. The updating of the words in some songs such as "As some day it may happen" are intelligent and successfully capture Gilbert's whimsy. This showstopper is beautifully delivered by David McKechnie, as his plaintive "On a tree by a river." Sam Kipling also stands out with a voice that is simply sublime. He is well matched with Declan Egan whose rendition of "A wand'ring minstrel I" deftly sets the tone for the show. And, the comic turns of Aidan Nightingale and Christopher Hewitt certainly add to the fun. If we have a quibble with this production, it is the framing device of the Boy Scout camp. The show isn't really convincing as a camp creation by a group of boys in the woods, and it seems a device that is more confusing than illuminating. The intention may have been to avoid any reference to the original Japanese setting of the show which is now eschewed, but the best manner of addressing that issue seems yet to be found. That question aside, Sasha Regan has produced another thoroughly enjoyable riff on a G & S masterpiece that should delight aficionados and charm the uninitiated.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Mark Senior

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