philo 7 March 2009 24

Canberra Philharmonic Society’s new production of The Mikado left the opening night audience spellbound! With outstanding performances from the talented cast, some of the most amazing voices in Canberra, wonderful choreography, a remarkable live orchestra, beautiful costumes and astonishing lighting and effects, The Mikado is absolutely guaranteed to give you an extraordinary night out! Audience members were in hysterics over the updated lyrics – where no one is safe – everyone from Big Brother to Peter Costello got a mention. This is a show that truly appeals to all ages. Limited run – only until 21st March. Book your tickets now at or 624 PHILO (74456). (No hidden booking fees or extra charges). Don’t miss this truly remarkable production!

Canberra Philharmonic Society

Proudly Presents

The Mikado

Thursday 5th March til Saturday 21st March, 2009

This hilarious comic opera delighted audiences when excerpts were performed at last week’s

Bushfire Appeal Concert at the Canberra Theatre!

The premier musical theatre company that first brought Gilbert & Sullivan to Canberra Audiences over fifty years ago returns to its roots in this lively, traditional (but updated!) version of the best loved G&S show. With some of Canberra’s finest voices, fan-work to dazzle and amaze and stunning costumes this is one show every G&S lover will not want to miss. A stellar line up of local performers star in this production – including perennial G&S favourite, Peter Dark as “Pooh-Bah”, Jo McGrail-Bateup as “Ko-Ko”, Ken Goodge as “Pish-Tush” and even the Philo President himself who plays “The Mikado”. Two brilliant newcomers to Philo – Grant Pegg and Robyn Collins star as the love birds Nanki-Poo & Yum-Yum. Judith Colquhoun as Pitti Sing and Erika Tolano as Peep-Bo, along with Robyn, make up the Three Little Maids and Miriam Miley-Read is in her element as Katisha. The Mikado is blessed with a very talented supporting cast and ensemble, which includes many current and past ANU School of Music students. With such well known songs as Three Little Maids From School Are We, A Wand’ring Minstrel I, Mi-ya Sa-ma and of course Willow, Tit-Willow the audience are promised a night of fun, wholesome entertainment. The Mikado, directed by Barbara Denham, with Musical Director Andrea Clifford and Choreographer Emma Tattam, plays from 5 to 21 March at Erindale Theatre, McBryde Crescent, Wanniassa.For more information and to purchase tickets online – visit or alternatively phone 624PHILO (74456) Erindale Theatre, McBryde Cres, Wanniassa.

Thurs 5th – Sat 7th March at 8pm. Thurs 12th – Sat 14th March at 8pm. Wed 18th – Sat 21st March at 8pm.

Matinees Sat 14th & 21st March at 2pm &

introducing a Special Seniors Matinee Wed 11th March at 11am in the lead-up to Seniors Week.

Ticket prices range from $28-$45

What's Your Opinion?

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Granny Granny 9:40 pm 11 Mar 09

It kind of works though. The astroturfers have definitely increased my interest in the thing.

And in some ways it’s better than having an event posted up and sit around commentless until it disappears into archival oblivion.

el el 8:56 pm 11 Mar 09

Vanilla Bean:

Sound familiar? On a totally unrelated subject, it’s amazing that 9 people signed up to this site in the past 4 days JUST to comment favourably on the production in question on this thread.

Juggler Of Death Juggler Of Death 7:53 pm 11 Mar 09

I went to see the Mikado on Saturday as a school friend was part of the fantastic chorus (Nathan Fernandez) and I have to say, it was one of the best productions I have ever seen. Stand outs in the cast include Jo McGrail-Bateup as Ko-Ko, the lord high executioner of Titipu, Peter Dark as Pooh-Bah, The lord high everything else, Miriam Miley-Read as the rather tall (yet evil!) Katisha, the president of Philo himself, Michael Moore as the Mikado. And who could forget the wonderful Grant Pegg and Robyn Collins as Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum respectively. The entire night was full of great actors and singers and the show was definitely worth every cent. Philo has done a great job keeping the essence of Gilbert and Sullivan whilst modernising the script and song lyrics for a more enjoyable viewing. Overall, fantastic show, great singers, great actors and awesome show!

Vanilla Bean Vanilla Bean 5:00 pm 11 Mar 09

Um….what is astroturfing? And I think you mean “Bowling for Nanki-Poo” 😉

I saw the show on Saturday night and I loved it. It’s funny, it’s bright, it has hunky guys with no shirts on and the cast was great. I thought it was impressive that the company managed to get so many really impressive singers (classically trained opera singers?) in one cast. Plus I thought the choreography with fans was neat. The costumes were lovely, especially the schoolgirls in pink and Katisha looked fabulous. I think that when things are so gloomy everywhere it’s nice to be able to go out and lose yourself for a few hours in something bright and glitzy that makes you laugh. Also, even with the updated lyrics, it makes you realise that even back then Gilbert & Sullivan were right on the ticket when they poked fun at politics and the British upper class.

I say go see it…

Renee Renee 9:40 pm 10 Mar 09

Perhaps then it’s another Michael Moore??? No longer ‘searching for Columbine’ but now ‘searching for Nanki-Poo.’ lol

Ozhair Ozhair 3:40 pm 10 Mar 09

Nope, different Michael Moore.

poptop poptop 1:49 pm 10 Mar 09

Not THE Michael Moore? Former teacher, quasi-independent former MLA?

shiny shiny 1:47 pm 10 Mar 09

The Mikado was played by Micheal Moore and Katisha was played by Miriam Miley-Read

TheatreGoer TheatreGoer 3:59 pm 09 Mar 09

shiny said :

Any stand outs in the cast? I haven’t seen it yet!! I heard there are some great singers in the cast…

There really are some great singers. When the whole chorus is on stage singing – the wall of sound that hits you is amazing. The harmonies are simply beautiful.
The principal cast is very strong, great comic timing from most of them.
If I had to narrow it down to a couple of standout performances I’d have to say I really enjoyed watching both Katisha and The Mikado. Both actors have voices to die for and when they come on stage you really know about it, very powerful singing! I regret not buying a program now. Anyone know who they are and/or what they’ve done before?

canberraflybe canberraflybe 1:37 pm 09 Mar 09

I was dragged along to see The Mikado at the Erindale theatre on Saturday night and fortunately I can say that I was very impressed by the calibre of this show. I haven’t seen many local productions but can honestly say that this production delivers a very entertaining evening – especially, as others have said, the excellent array of fine singing voices (might I add another special mention to the guy who plays Nanki-Pooh). Who knew we had this much talent in this town!? I’m organising a group from work to go along next week which is a big deal for this relative musical theatre virgin! Congratulations Philo.

shiny shiny 2:49 am 09 Mar 09

Any stand outs in the cast? I haven’t seen it yet!! I heard there are some great singers in the cast…

bobagorof bobagorof 2:34 am 09 Mar 09

I was highly impressed by this production. Not only were the voices of the cast exquisite (special commendation to Grant Pegg as Nanki-Poo), the orchestra were well drilled and the costumes were amazing.
It’s true that some of the lyrics have been updated for Canberra audiences in 2008 – personally, I can appreciate this as obscure nineteenth-century political statements are no longer relevant and would not be understood by the audience.
I was particularly impressed by the the presentation of some of the more famous G&S numbers, including “Willow, tit-willow” and “Three Little Maids From School Are We”, which uses entrancing choreography using umbrellas.
If you enjoy G&S, operettas, or just wish to see a show with wonderful, colourful choreography, this is a great show to see.

Granny Granny 2:24 pm 08 Mar 09

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

We PARTICULARLY liked the updated lyrics


That could whoosh also ….

el el 2:05 pm 08 Mar 09

Blatant astroturfing is teh suxors.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 1:54 pm 08 Mar 09

We PARTICULARLY liked the updated lyrics


Granny Granny 11:10 am 08 Mar 09

I hated it. My wife hated it. The kids hated it. Even the dog hated it. And don’t even get me started on the cows and pigs and chickens!


Angel Angel 10:58 am 08 Mar 09

Woody you are an idiot! Getting on here just to demonstrate both your lack of a sense of humour and your pathetically low IQ is hardly conducive to constructive critique. The Mikado was a terrific show which I and my ten colleagues enjoyed immensely. We PARTICULARLY liked the updated lyrics (written according to the program, by a couple of the cast members) which wittily poked fun at sports stars, politicians, TV shows and even the Philo Society itself.

It’s great to see Canberra can turn out such an amazing cast of voices for an amateur production. I lived in Sydney for many years and I’ve never seen an amateur company do what Philo can. In fact I’ve seen plenty of professional companies fall way short of the mark these guys set.

So my recommendation is, as long as you think you have a brain and a sense of humour, is to get along and see a fabulous show with a great cast that’s a RIOT in itself!

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 9:45 am 08 Mar 09

I hated it. I especially hated the bit where Ko-Ko implored the audience to go astroturf on the RiotAct.

I-filed I-filed 9:43 am 08 Mar 09

Spam Box said :

My wife hated it and so did her friends

That’s very strong Spam Box – What disappointed them? There isn’t much point posting this without useful feedback. Did they hate the production? Or did they just not know the G&S repertoire and didn’t know what to expect? The Mikado is so funny, I’m surprised anyone would “hate” it in any form.

bloodnut bloodnut 10:41 pm 07 Mar 09

Very well informed opinion. Thanks.

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