THE Academy is preparing to return to the stage with a performance of a classic tale with a modern twist.
The town's longest running theatre group is bringing Hot Mikado to The Diplomat Hotel next month.
The musical comedy is a revamp of the 1885 Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Mikado -- using much of the original music but in a 1940s jazz and blues style.
It features lyrics by David H Bell and musical arrangements by Rob Bowman. Artistic director Peter Sharp said the music had been brought more up-tempo and the costumed have been moder nised.
And he said instead of featuring traditional Japanese costumes, the story was set against a Chicago gangster backdrop. There is also going to be a specially designed raised set installed at the venue for all to see, while there will be a five-piece band led by Musical Director Diane Williams.
Mr Sharp said: I think people should come along for a really good evening's entertainment.
Everybody thinks Gilbert and Sullivan music is old or outdated, but with David Bell and Rob Bowman they have done wonders to uplift the music, it really is great.
I feel people will be sorry to miss this. After Jesus Christ Superstar this is not such a big show but it's going to be a great evening out.
The musical sees young Nanki-Poo, the Mikado's son, played by Gavin Brewster, masquerading as a second trumpet player.
He arrives in the town of Titipu looking for the Yum-Yum, played by Eve Dalling, and after bribing various officials he learns that she is still going to be marrying a former tailor turned lord high executioner, Koko, played by Roger Bowen. Meanwhile, the Mikado, played by Tony Evans, demands that KoKo execute Poet his one person within the next month. Nanki-Poo agrees to be executed as long as he can spend a month as Yum-Yum's husband.
However, the plan goes awry when the Mikado makes a surprise visit to Titipu and brings with him Katisha, an older woman who is pursuing Nanki-Poo, played by Liz Bevan. Mr Sharp said he was pleased with the progress made by the group, which recently announced that they will be returning to Ffwrnes in May to perform the much-loved Copacabana.
There are a lot of duets and trios going on all the characters intermingle -- it is a strong cast, Mr Sharp said.
Everybody is enjoying it. It takes place at The Diplomat Hotel over three nights from Thursday, November 7 until Saturday, November 9 at 7pm.
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
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