The Mikado

BY WS GILBERT & ARTHUR SULLIVAN
15 December 2004 — 12 February 2005

For the festive season we present the London premiere of Chris Monks' production of Mikado. The most famous of all Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, first performed in 1885, may be set in Japan but its satire is directed antirely at English subjects.

With a little careful re-writing, the original bit of Gilbert's satire has been restored. But why on a cricket pitch? Chris Monks writes: 'The charcaters in the Mikado are trapped in a rule-ridden, pedantic and violent society. I found an equivalnet in the most English of rituals - the cricket match. Like the Japanese tea ceremony, cricket is so esoteric, the unitiated find it incomprehensible. The cricket establishment, from Lords to the most humble village team, adheres to a code of behaviour laid down in the far off days of empire. Its hierarchy is inscrutable; its rituals require a lifetime of study to fathom'.