Review: The Mikado at Buxton Opera House

It is Gilbert and Sullivan, folks – but not quite as we know it.

Opera della Luna are a byword for quirky, chorus-free productions, and their Mikado at Buxton Opera House this week is one of their best.

The cast of seven do the work of thirty, with extravagant catwalk costumes, reworked words and a tap dance in the Act One finale. The music remains as Sullivan wrote it, though some voices were stronger than others.

Louise Crane plays Katisha with cackling glee, and Richard Gauntlett is a hyperactive Ko Ko whose Little List takes potshots at texting, cold callers and the festival directors who have moved Buxton’s annual G & S feast to Harrogate.

John Griffiths’s Mikado’s punishments are aimed at HS2 and paid-for honours. Christopher Diffey is a witty Nanki Poo with a glorious tenor voice.

It isn’t G & S for the purists, but it is great fun.

The production continues at Buxton Opera House tonight and tomorrow.

LYNNE PATRICK