ASAOS - The Mikado - May 1962
"The Mikado" carried on a gust of enthusiasm - May 1st - 3rd and May 5th 1962.
All Souls Church Hall, Halifax, hummed in expectation last night as a large audience waited for the birth of it operatic society's first show. "The Mikado", by Gilbert and Sullivan. The show moved uncertainly at first, blinked at the unfamiliar spotlights a little awkwardly, and then with an upsurge of confidence both walked and ran with ease as it suddenly became at home on the stage.
Ernest Fletcher, the producer, had needed all his skill to overcome a stage whose width was no bigger than a diminutive hop, step and jump, but not once did the flow of the cast, which number 40 strong, bottle up into an untidy jam.
Only three of the cast had any previous experience, but when I asked Mr Fletcher how he felt about the cast before the show, he said, "Happy". At the interval, when even the strongest of producers sometimes lock themselves away, he was still "happy."
The whole production was carried along in a gust of enthusiasm espeially by choruses. They juggled the words into the air from note to note without a fumble or a slip.
All credit for this must certainly go to their musical director, Sheila Moulds, whose tight direction dared even half a note to mis-behave at it's peril.
Where the society's inexperience showed was in the male solos. Robert Moulds (Nanki Poo) wavered at odd points and could do with more attack in his approach to the role. Jack Robertshaw (Ko-Ko) and Horace Copping (Pooh-Bah) had an easier time and did nothing to muffle the humour with its typical Gilbertian sense of the ridiculous.
On the other hand, the women seemed to have it all their way. Judith Perrin (Yum-Yum), Pauline Webster (Pitti-Sing) and Shirley Robertshaw (Peep-Bo) sang as pertly and prettily as any "Three little maids from school."
There is no doubt that Judith Perrin will fill many leading parts in future productions. Her voice could be called sweet, but more than that she keeps it under an easy control that allows it to run without any strain, at the same time giving it expression. Another asset to the society will be Margaret Tennant, whose voice as Katisha was that of as forbidding an old "battleaxe" as I never want to meet.
Giving the production a bright and picturesque effect by Geoffrey Beck's decor. Other parts were played by Arthur Talbot, Philip Greenroys, P Ashton, F Beaumont, D.Binks, M.Brook, L.Calvert, V.Copping, N.Hawkridge, A.Heather, E.Holmes, A.Jagger, N.Jagger, P.Lyons, S.Milnes, E.Oldfield, G.Taylor, I.Thorpe, J.Titley, P.Walker, A.Beaumont, S.Dransfield, C.Eyre, W.Fletcher, J.Hardy, E.Hindle, G.Horsfield, F.Manks, A.Mitchell and W.Walker. Accompanist was Miss B Irene Booth.
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