The Mikado, 1980

Creative Team
Joan McCready – Director
Gerry Deignan – Musical director
Mary Mallon – Chorus mistress
Grainne Gillen – Orchestra leader

The Mikado of Japan – Joe O’Connor
Nanki-Poo – Fred Green
Ko-Ko, Lord High Executioner of Titipu – John McGrillan
Pooh-Bah, Lord High Everything Else – Michael Blair
Pish-Tush – Ivan McKenna
Yum-Yum – Ann Johnston
Pitti-Sing – Veronica Mulholland
Peep-Bo – Regina O’Callaghan
Katisha – Winnie Briggs
A Japanese nobleman – Jim Hession

Dorothy Bamford, Catriona Beagon, Pauline Brown, Ann Burns, Sheila Campbell, Una Clarke, Olive Comerton, Bernadette Corrigan, Laurentia Corrigan, Sr Matthais Couser, Ruth Couser, Phil Crookes, Clare Crummey, Mary Crummey, Jean Cunning, Brenda Delargey, Elizabeth Devlin, Johanna Donnelly, Margaret Donnelly, Evelyn Doyle, Ethna Harding, Florence Hunter, Eileen Kennedy, Marie Kennedy, Sheila Kerr, Angela Lowry, Deirdre McAuley, Agnes McComb, Pauline McErlean, Veronica Monan, Theresa Moore, Fionnuala Murtagh, Deirdre O’Loan, Kathleen O’Neill, Bernadette O’Reilly, Therese Scallan, Margaret Smyth, Therese Timoney, Marie White
Paul Campbell, Jim Cooper, Ronan Corrigan, Bil Curran, David Curran, John Curran, Sean Donnelly, Edward Friel, Kevin Harte, Oliver Johnston, Hugh Magee, Jim McCullagh, Alex McDonnell, Terry Shiels, Bill Terrins



For their third annual production, Fortwilliam Musical Society presented Gilbert and Sullivan’s perrenial favourite, The Mikado, and I have no doubt that this was their most successful opera yet.

Joan McCready’s production kept events moving at a good pace and the best possible use was made of the stage space.

In a generally successful all-round cast, the Ko-Ko of John McGrillan was impressive. He played the role with great zest and with a slightly camp delivery which was most effective. He showed considerable verbal and physical agility in revealing the subtleties of Gilbert’s wit, but I would have liked more emphasis on the rather pathetic side of the character.

The lovers were played by Ann Johnston and Fred Green. The former showed us a charming personality and an attractive vocal quality albeit somewhat light in volume. Mr Green’s singing as Nanki-Poo was fluent and as assured as ever.

The other two little maids were most charmingly portrayed by Veronica Mulholland and Regina O’Callaghan, but more vocal projection would have helped considerably.

For me, one of the most stylish performances was that of Michael Blair as Poo-Bah. In particular, his delivery of the lines was a model of good diction.

The Mikado was played by Joe O’Connor. Again another strong performance with a likeable vocal quality and a firm projection of the lines.

As Katisha, Winnie Briggs was a commanding figure. Without having the necessary weight of voice for this part, she still managed to sing it with authority. The part of Pish-Tush was played effectively by Ivan McKenna.

Musical director, Gerry Deignan, coaxed some spirited singing from his choirs, and a youthful orchestra led by Grainne Gillen accompanied very well and never swamped the singers.

I was glad to see that the action was not hindered by a surfeit of encores.


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