Jasper Carrott Joins Cast of D'Oyly Carte MikadoDate: 27 May 2002
Comedian Jasper Carrot (pictured) is confirmed to head the cast in D'Oyly Carte Opera Company's upcoming production of Gilbert & Sullivan's most popular operetta, The Mikado. As reported in Whatsonstage.com News last week, the new production will run at the Savoy Theatre form 27 June to 14 September 2002 (previews from 25 June), extending the company's current West End season, which started in February with Iolanthe and continues until 8 June with The Yeomen of the Guard.
Carrot, familiar to generations of TV fans for his many long-running comedy shows, will play Ko Ko in the classic piece, written in 1885 to cater for Victorian England's fascination with all things Japanese. The story is set in the mythical Japanese town of Titipu and follows 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.
D'Oyly Carte, which is dedicated to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, last brought The Mikado to the Savoy in 2000, when it was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production. The operetta features such G&S classic songs as "Behold the Lord High Executioner", "A Wandering Minstrel I" and "Three Little Maids from School".
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 Theatre 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. The D'Oyly Carte Company continues to be dedicated to producing faithful recreations of the Savoy Operas of Gilbert & Sullivan.
D'Oyly Carte's production of The Mikado is directed by Ian Judge and designed by Tim Goodchild with choreography by Lindsay Dolan. Carrott will not be performing on the following dates: Thursday 11 July, Friday 26 July and Saturday 27 July.
- by Terri Paddock