The Mikado information night this Thursday

Musical director Wally Pope, The Mikado director Jodie Holwell and vocal coach Leanne McCready.SINGERS and actors keen to be part of Ararat Musical Comedy Society’s 2015 production of The Mikado are invited to an information night this Thursday.

Director of The Mikado will be Jodie Holwell and she will be assisted by musical director Wally Pope and vocal coach Leanne McCready.

Ms Holwell said she is looking forward to bringing the show to life on stage, with roles to suit a variety of actors and singers.

“There are nine major roles in the production and lots of chorus work,” Ms Holwell said.

“The chorus is a large contributor to this show – as Gilbert and Sullivan is written to include large choruses – and it will have lots of songs and stage time.

“It is a great show, full of memorable songs and lots of laughs and I would love everyone to come along to the information night and get involved.”

The Mikado first opened in March 1885, in London, where it ran at the Savoy Theatre for 672 performances,.

While written more than 100 years ago, the genius of Gilbert and Sullivan means that its themes are still relevant today and with no copyright restrictions, references to modern day issues, personalities, celebrities and characters can be included to ensure audiences will still be laughing out loud as they did 100 years ago.

The story of The Mikado follows Nanki-Poo, son of the Mikado of Japan, who fled his father’s imperial court to escape marriage with Katisha, an elderly lady. Disguised as a travelling musician, he met and fell in love with Yum-Yum, the young ward of Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor in the town of Titipu.

Yum-Yum, however, was already betrothed to her guardian, and Nanki-Poo leaves the town.

Still masquerading as a musician he later returns to Titipu after hearing that Ko-Ko was condemned to death for flirting, but learns that although Ko-Ko was indeed to have been beheaded, he was reprieved at the last moment and made Lord High Executioner instead. As the criminals must be executed in order, and Ko-Ko was next to be executed, no one else can be executed until Ko-Ko cuts off his own head!

Ko-Ko, meanwhile, has received a letter from the Mikado, who is concerned that there have been no recent executions in Titipu and threatens severe repercussions if one does not take place within a month, including reducing the town to the rank of a village.

Ko-Ko comes across Nanki-Poo, who is preparing to terminate his existence rather than face life without Yum-Yum, and the two men strike a bargain: Ko-Ko agrees to let Nanki-Poo marry Yum-Yum now, and, in return, Nanki-Poo agrees to let Ko-Ko behead him at the end of the month and marry his widow.

However, the wedding plans are disrupted upon Ko-Ko’s discovery that, under the Mikado’s law, when a married man is beheaded, his wife must be buried alive. Yum-Yum’s enthusiasm for the marriage is suddenly diminished and a solution must be found!

The information night for The Mikado will be held at Ararat 800 Primary School’s performing arts room (enter via Moore Street at rear of school) at 7.30pm this Thursday, January 29. Anyone who would like to be part of the cast or back stage crew is welcome to attend.

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