The Mikado

The Story

The Mikado takes place in the Japanese town of Titipu, during a time when the Mikado - the ruler of Japan - has decided that there is too much moral looseness around, and has decreed that anyone who flirts, leers or winks (unless married) shall be beheaded. This means that most of the male populace have been condemned to die - something of a problem! Titipu has solved its problem by appointing Ko-Ko - a tailor who was on death row - to the post of Lord High Executioner. Since Ko-Ko was next in line to be executed, it was argued that then he would have to kill himself before attending to the other prisoners - and there was a view that executing himself would be difficult.

Into this scene steps Nanki-Poo, who appears to be a wandering minstrel, but is actually the son of the Mikado. He is pursuing Yum-Yum, with whom he fell in love a year previously. His hopes of wooing Yum-Yum seem dashed when it is revealed that Ko-Ko plans to marry her that very day. As he and Yum-Yum bemoan their lot, things are altered by the news that the Mikado is to visit the town, and is concerned by the lack of executions over the previous few months. It seems that Ko-Ko will have to execute himself after all, until Nanki-Poo's desolation at losing Yum-Yum leads him to consider suicide, and Ko-Ko persuades him to be executed in style instead.

In practice, Ko-Ko can't face committing the deed and instead vows simply to tell the Mikado that the execution has taken place. Which seems fine, were it not that the chosen victim, remember, is the Mikado's son - and the object of desire of Katisha (a lady of court). It would seem hopeless all round, until we remember that this is Gilbert and Sullivan, and all can be solved in the final act!

The Emperor of Japan
Me as the Emperor of Japan (and his daughter-in-law elect).
"I forget the punishment for compassing the death of the Heir Apparent"
I forget the punishment
Make Up
The make-up in its full glory

 Photos by Mike Kwasniak - Ipswich 719002