Breaking the fourth wall is arguably underused in musicals, as casts jazz-hand in unison without so much as a nod at the strangeness of this mad world of song and dance. Not so in ‘The Hot Mikado’; with tongues firmly in their cheeks, characters jump from knowing references to their ancestry—”If Gilbert and Sullivan could see me now!”—to their nationality: “It’s all in Japanese! Oh wait, we are Japanese!” The quality of singing is also absolutely outstanding – the blue Powerpuff-like geisha, in particular, sings beautifully and with much sass. Although it’s a shame that even some of the more powerful voices are drowned out by the band at times, it did not spoil this rollicking Japanese-American extravaganza.
C eca, 3 – 29 Aug (not 15), 6.50pm (7.50pm), £5.50 – £11.50, fpp226.
tw rating 4/5