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Preview of The Mikado

Illyria will bring The Mikado to Lytham Hall on Sunday 20 August for the third open air play of the season, promising a delight for the eyes and the eyes.

Illyria’s cast of six have visited 38 very diverse venues on their six week nationwide tour, including Chepstow Castle in Wales, Musselburgh Racecourse near Edinburgh and Hartland Abbey in Devon and their production has been widely praised.

Rachel Lea-Gray who plays Katisha believes that it is the rich variety of Gilbert and Sullivan’s music which has always attracted full houses to productions of The Mikado for over 130 years.

“The Mikado has every type of song from tricky tongue-twisters to romantic ballads, from quartets to full choral numbers and that means that we have had to be careful with our voices in order to produce top quality singing at every performance.

It will be a delight for me to be back at Lytham Hall again, one of our favourite venues where the audience is knowledgeable and the acoustics are superb.”

Illyria’s unique style where the cast play all the characters and also excel in the ensemble numbers traditionally sung by a sizeable chorus is an eye-opener to newcomers in the audience.

Edward Simpson who plays the lead comic role as Koko, the Lord High Executioner, feels that the pace of artistic director Oliver Gray’s production is one of its main strengths.

“Our musical director Richard Healey who plays keyboards moves the action along briskly and the way the six of us double up slightly manically to provide a chorus always amuses the audience. Our Japanese costumes are also wonderfully colourful this year, so, in a beautiful open air setting, it’s a very special treat for the senses. I think it’s one of Illyria’s most appealing shows.”

Gates open for picnics at 4.00, with the show starting at 6.00 and finishing at 8.15. Tickets in advance from Lytham Hall, Lowther Box Office or pay at the gate.

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