1942 Opera: The Mikado
Senior House Drama
When it was learned that The Mikado was to be produced this year, there were some doubts about the wisdom of the choice. The outstanding success of the first production of this opera a few years ago was still a green memory, and it did not seem likely that a 'revival' would be equally good. It is pleasant to record that these misgivings proved groundless and indeed that many of the people one heard comparing the two shows preferred the later one. Probably it was a more even production and there was a decided advance in the work of the chorus - both Gentlemen and Maids; more ease in their bearing and greater confidence and firmness in their singing were noticed.
Again we had three winsome Little Maids, D. Conway, G. O' Donoghue, D. Reddin, perfectly matched in height and appearance, who quickly and completely won their audience. Yurn-Yum's speaking voice was particularly admired and all her lines were listened to with as much attention and enjoyment as her songs. Hugh O'Donoghue and Jack Halpenny are now veterans of the Castleknock stage, and can be relied upon for competent performances in all kinds of parts. With his inches and a certain amount of artificial help, Hugh made as pompous a Pooh-Bah as you could wish; Jack's fine voice enabled him to make more of Koko's songs than is often made of them, and of course he was well able to put across all the 'business' of the part. Jack Lee also was helped by a good voice to give a fine performance in the difficult part of Katisha. Nanki-Poo is not the most difficult part in the opera, but it must surely be the hardest part to get a schoolboy to fill; we congratulate Dick Shanahan for his very successful playing and singing in it. Eugene Smyth did very well giving the traditional rendering in the name part, while Don Rooney both in appearance and in his acting was the noble lord, Pish Tush.
It is perhaps unnecessary to add that the scenery, lighting and orchestra were excellent. We thank Miss Foley, Mr. Bouch and all who so kindly collaborated. And a last bouquet to the designer of the 'fan' programme.