It's an amazing statistic in itself that Jonathan Miller's now iconic production of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado is one-fifth as old as the piece itself - that is 26 years. For 25 of those Richard Suart has groveled magnificently as the Lord High Executioner Ko-Ko to the point where one honestly cannot conceive of it without him.

Coming straight from a stage and orchestra rehearsal Suart is, as ever, on cracking quipping form and he has in tow the newcomer to the production, Mary Bevan, whose sister Sophie was the delectable “little maid” Yum-Yum last time around.

After some confusion about which “retiring room” (the Coliseum has many) we were booked to occupy, Suart and his new playmate reflect on this most perfect of stagings, the joy of the material, the diligence of the good doctor Miller (he’s back for every revival), the indifference of G & S naysayers, the hazards of the dialogue (of which Suart is a master), and, of course, that “little list”....

- Edward Seckson

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