The Mikado, by London Concert Chorus, at Birmingham Symphony Hall
Tunes abound throughout any Gilbert and Sullivan offering. None less than in this 125th anniversary staged concert performance of top favourite Mikado.
It took some time for some of the responsive audience to come to terms with non-Japanese dress however – business suits for the gentlemen contrasting with cocktail attire and high heels. The women of the London Concert Chorus were fine in voice, but visually distracting in their mish-mash of colours and styles.
Simon Butteriss as the characterful Lord High Executioner was nimble of foot, clear in voice. His Ko-Ko delivered a suitably hilarious topical “little list”, fully engaging the large responsive audience.
Three Little Maids delighted all, ably supported by a discreet London Concert Orchestra. Conductor Richard Balcombe was in danger of giving the brass full throttle, which with body microphones on singers tended towards overkill and distortion at times, but on the whole balance was good.
Jill Pert offered a fine portrayal of Katisha: handling the tricky character with poignancy, ironic wit and powerful voice. All the familiar numbers were a delight, from patter songs, Flowers in Spring, Tit Willow et al.
A fun evening directed admirably by Alistair McGowan who also doubled as the superior Mikado, much to his obvious enjoyment.