Review: Hot Mikado, Dolman Theatre, Newport

Rebecca Royall reviews Centrestage Cymru’s latest musical presentation at Newport’s Dolman Theatre.

Everything sizzles in Centrestage Cymru’s production of Hot Mikado, adapted by David H. Bell, from Gilbert and Sullivan’s much loved The Mikado, which tells the story of Nanki Poo, played by Chris Davis, who is in love with Yum Yum, played by Cait Davies.

Yum Yum wants to marry Nanki Poo but cannot due to her engagement to KoKo, played brilliantly by Jordan Leigh, whose hilarious rendition of Tit Willow will stay with me forever.

KoKo makes a deal that Yum Yum and Nanki Poo can marry for one month, ending with Nanki Poo’s execution allowing KoKo to fulfil his role as Lord High Executioner of Titipu and save his own neck.

Centrestage Cymru will present Hot Mikado at Newport’s Dolman Theatre in 2023.

What follows is a rollercoaster ride of plot twists, with hilarious results, as the characters attempt to avoid the insane and deadly laws of Nanki Poo’s father, the Mikado, played by choreographer and director Sharon Higgins, whose tap routine is much to admire.

From the colourful, American jazz era costumes mirroring foot-tapping music (adapted by Rob Bowman to include jazz, swing and gospel), vocals to die for, dance routines deserving of a Glitter Ball trophy and superb comedic performances from the multi talented ensemble cast, including Julie Williams as Katisha, a force of nature with an admirable elbow and Marc Williams playing every bureaucrat in Titipu, the sheer energy of Hot Mikado is impossible to resist, making you want to get up and join in the fun and earning the Hot in its title.

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