D'Oyly Carte Follows Pinafore with MikadoDate: 21 July 2000
The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, which is dedicated to reviving the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, is again back in its original home this autumn with a new production of The Mikado. The famous Japanese parody opens at the Savoy Theatre on 20 September, following previews from 15 September. This will be D'Oyly Carte's second production at the Savoy this year. It had a sell-out run in February and March with HMS Pinafore, which marked the company's return to the Savoy for the first time in 11 years.
In 1876 Richard D'Oyly Carte formed the Comedy Opera Company and the following year produced The Sorcerer, his first collaboration with Gilbert and Sullivan. The ensuing success of their partnership enabled D' Oyly Carte to build the Savoy in 1882. It was the first public building to be lit throughout by electricity. The theatre was virtually destroyed by fire in 1990 but, after extensive refurbishments, it reopened in 1993.
Written in 1885, The Mikado catered for Victorian England's fascination with all things Japanese. It is set in the mythical Japanese town of Titipu and tells the story of Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado of Japan, who flees the imperial court to escape an arranged marriage. While hiding in disguise, he falls in love with Yum-Yum who has been betrothed to Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner.
The original production of The Mikado ran at the Savoy Theatre for nearly two years, but at the turn-of-the-century, the parody was deemed so potentially offensive that the government banned it for six weeks during the Japanese Crown Prince's 1907 state visit to London.
The new production is directed by Ian Judge, choreographed by Lindsay Dolan and Tim Goodchild. Casting details have yet to be confirmed.