REVIEW: LopSoc’s The Mikado

The latest production from LopSoc that is enthralling and captivating

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A month ago, I previewed an upcoming show from the Southampton University Light Opera Society (LOpSoc) titled “The Mikado”. Having been invited to their first full rehearsal, I got to see the bare-bones performance. The show opened at Nuffield Theatre on February 15th 2017 and ran throughout that week. Their final show was on February 18th  and I went along to see the complete piece. Here is my review of LOpSOc’s “The Mikado”.

Kudos to the excellent performances from Ben Walker (Ko Ko), Amy Wardle (Yum Yum), Joe Hand (The Mikado) and star of the show, Phil Needle (Pooh Bah). In my previous article, I wrote about how much these four impressed myself and the audience. They maintained their excellence over the period between the rehearsal and final show. The outcome? Another wonderful performance.

However, the one individual I really want to highlight from the show is Barnaby Wilson, who played the lead character of Nanky Poo. I commented previously on his amazing vocals and that was at a time where Barnaby was suffering from throat issues and had to conserve his voice. Come showtime, he had recovered and the whole performance was 10x better as a result. Whilst I may still find some of his character’s development and story a bit off on the odd occasion, there is no denying that Barnaby portrayed Nanky Poo with the upmost excellence and, once again, I cannot stress how incredible his singing was throughout the show.

The band sounded exceptional inside the Nuffield Theatre which makes a huge difference from the issues caused by having a band perform inside the Annex building. The direction of David Child was splendid and brought dimension to the show. In a similar vein, the choreography of Renata Stella was sublime and every song felt that little bit more special thanks to her work. I congratulated both these two in my preview, but seeing it on a larger stage gave me greater appreciation for what they both achieved.

So overall, congratulations to George Smith and Billy Boulton. They directed a wonderful show that made for an entertaining night of theatre. Having “The Mikado” in the Nuffield Theatre refined the performance and the show seemed to have addressed a few of the issues I saw in my preview at The Annex. Whilst I still think part of the plot was a bit out of place at times, it was a great night and a captivating show. Therefore I am increasing my rating of the show from 3.5/5 in my preview, to a 4/5 for the final product.

Well done to everyone involved and I cannot wait to see your next production.