In the latest installment of Culture Club’s varied itinerary, a group of Year 12 students travelled to the London Coliseum for a lively rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. Widely acknowledged as the most humorous of their Savoy operas, this production tells the story of Yum-Yum, who despite being engaged to marry her guardian Ko-Ko, is in love with wandering minstrel Nanki-Poo (who is secretly the son of the Mikado).

Inside the Coliseum - Patrick Merchant

As the performance got underway, the Coliseum’s illustrious red curtain rose to reveal a pristine cream and white set, evoking a grand hotel in the Japanese town of Titipu. The audience were swiftly captivated by electric tap-dancing routines and energetic singing, all accompanied by a spectacular orchestra that exhibited Sir Arthur Sullivan’s music perfectly.

The cast worked their socks off and soon had the audience chuckling away at the Lord High Executioner’s side-splitting delivery of ‘They’d none of ‘em be missed’; a topical little list of celebrities and politicians whom he thought deserved the chop. This is a unique feature of The Mikado, allowing for contemporary satirical commentary within an established opera that was first performed over a century ago.

Imposing Bass Robert Lloyd concluded the production with a monumental finale that resulted in a deafening ovation from the crowd - a well deserved end to an evening of outstanding entertainment.

Culture Club continues to be a resounding highlight of extracurricular Sixth Form life here at Challoner’s and I look forward to more enriching experiences throughout the year.