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The Mikado - 2008

Act I

Nanki-Poo, son of the Mikado, arrives in Titipu disguised as a wandering minstrel. He explains that several months earlier he’d fallen in love with Yum-Yum - but she was already betrothed to Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor, and he’d left in despair. Now he’s heard Ko-Ko has been condemned to death for flirting...

Nanki-Pooh’s hopes are quickly dashed by Pish-Tush (A Noble Lord). Ko-Ko has earnt a reprieve - and been appointed Lord High Executioner. Pooh-Bah (Lord High of Everything Else) confirms there’s no hope, and Ko-Ko himself arrives to explain his change of fortune – and a list of potential candidates to launch him on his new ‘career’.

The ladies arrive, quickly followed by Yum-Yum, Pitti-Sing and Peep-Bo. The three girls are delighted to see Nanki-Pooh again and rush to greet him. Nanki-Pooh, expecting Ko-Ko’s anger, admits that he loves Yum Yum. “Anger!” Ko-Ko responds. “Not a bit, my boy. Why, I love her myself.”

Left alone, Nanki-Poo declares his love to Yum-Yum and confides his true identity, explaining that he fled his father’s court to avoid marriage to the formidable Katisha. Yum-Yum warns him to keep his distance – the punishment for flirting is severe. But Nanki-Pooh finds a way round that by showing her how it could be between them...

In the meantime the Mikado has written to Ko-Ko, complaining about the lack of recent executions. If the situation is not remedied within a month, he warns, Titipu will be demoted from a town to a mere village. Ko-Ko, Pooh-Bah and Pish-Tush ponder who their ‘saviour’ should be.

Later Ko-Ko comes across a despondant Nanki-Pooh, who has decided to end his life rather than be without his beloved Yum-Yum. The solution is clear; Ko-Ko will behead him instead, and clinches the deal by allowing him to marry Yum-Yum providing he agrees to be executed at the end of a month.

On hearing this resolution to their problems the townsfolk celebrate – but their revelries are cut short by the arrival of Katisha. Rejected by her reluctant fiance, she attempts to reveal his true identity – but is thwarted by the crowd. She leaves, vowing revenge.

Act II

Yum Yum happily prepares for her wedding day – until she is reminded, by the other girls, of her new husband’s imminent fate. Nanki-Pooh arrives to cheer her up, but his efforts are in vain when Ko-Ko appears with bad news. According to the Mikado’s laws, the wife of a beheaded man must be buried alive. This information rather diminishes Yum-Yum’s enthusiasm for the marriage.

Determined to spare her such a grim fate, Nanki-Pooh demands that Ko-Ko behead him at once. But Ko-Ko admits he cannot kill anyone, and an alternative solution must be found. With word of the Mikado’s pending arrival in Titipu, the three decide that Nanki-Pooh and Yum-Yum will leave at once and Ko-Ko will swear that the execution has taken place.

The young lovers escape just in time; the Mikado – and Katisha – have arrived in Titipu. Ko-Ko, Pooh-Bar and Pitti-Sing deliver a detailed and inventive account of the supposed beheading – but, whilst pleased his orders have been carried out, the Mikado explains his true purpose in visiting is find his son.

When the allegedly dead Nanki-Pooh’s true identity is revealed by Katisha, the three storytellers beg his eminent father for mercy. Whilst not unsympathetic to their plight the Mikado decrees, however that they shall die a horrible death for their crime.

Hearing of this, Nanki-Pooh is faced with a dilemma; if he reveals himself to spare them from this terrible fate, he - and his new bride Yum-Yum – risk a terrible fate of their own. He suggests that Ko-Ko, wed Katisha, – thus freeing him of any obligation toward her.

Ko-Ko agrees – reluctuctantly – and sets about wooing, winning and wedding Katisha. Despite her initial disinterest he succeeds, allowing Nanki-Pooh to be miraculously restored. Reuinited with his errant son and new daughter-in-law Yum-Yum, a rather bemused Mikado listens as Ko-Ko explains his deception. Satisfied, the Great and Humane Leader commutes the death sentence to a lifetime spent married to Katisha instead, leading to a joyous celebration.

The Mikado of Japan









Chorus of School-Girls





Phil Watkin
John Parkinson
Michael Buchann
Doug Skilton
Les Skilton
Linda Skilton
Frances Butler
Julie Prince
Sue Percy

The Cast

The Story

Performed at Trewern Community Centre
November 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th, 2008

Gilbert and Sullivan