The Mikado

Grab a fan and throw on a yukata, we’re heading to the town of Titipu in Japan! The Mikado has ruled that flirting is now a capital crime and next on the chopping block is a former cheap tailor, Ko-Ko. Unhappy with the new ruling, the Titipu powers that be confer the role of Lord High Executioner to Ko-Ko and therefore creating a loophole in which no-one can be executed – because Ko-Ko must chop off his own head before anyone else can be punished. In comes Nanki-Poo, a travelling musician who has come to find Yum-Yum, the woman he loves, only to find that she is to marry Ko-Ko that same day! Upon hearing Nanki-Poo’s intentions Ko-Ko sends him away, but the two young lovers meet in secrecy where Nanki-Poo reveals that he is actually the son and heir to The Mikado and has disguised himself so as to fool Katisha, an elderly member of his father’s court who wishes to marry him, and the couple lament that they cannot be together. To Ko-Ko’s surprise, The Mikado has ordered that an execution take place within the next month or the town of Titipu will be ruined! In an effort to save himself, Ko-Ko convinces the heartbroken Nanki-Poo to take his place to be executed in exchange for being able to marry Yum-Yum until his death. The young couple try to keep their spirits up but can they think of a way out of this mess? Will Ko-Ko manage to stave off his own death? And what about when The Mikado comes searching for his missing son?

This opera marks the ninth collaboration between Gilbert and Sullivan following ‘Princess Ida’ and preceding ‘Ruddigore’. ‘The Mikado’ has become the most popular G&S opera since it’s premiere in 1885 and took the title of second longest running theatre work from ‘Patience’ (and before that, ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’) and has received international recognition and fame.

Our society has performed ‘The Mikado’ six times and was the second Main Show to be performed following ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ in 1973. To see the full page for the year you’re interested in, click on the relevant image below. To view the image galleries, head over to our Main Show page.

Click on an image and then click again on the caption to be taken to the page for that production.

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