3rd Jul 2012
Gilbert & Sullivan created the most enduring comic opera in The Mikado. The music is merry but the wit is sharp. The rules are mocked and the system creaks to accomodate cunning schemes. Harmony flows in spite of the bitter divides. Love conquers though troubles abound. In fact it’s timeless- just as INSET, the troupe which has been entertaining us now since 1980, seems ageless.
Heather & Shannon O’Reilly greeting the audience arriving for The Mikado in the Japanese Gardens at the Irish National Stud
The Mikado’s henchman (Oliver Delaney) vets the audience arriving for The Mikado at the Japanese Gardens at the Irish National Stud
When reading mythology or history one can come across a reference to a “golden age”. Once upon a time, at the Irish National Stud, there was a golden age of theatrical activity.
Thirty three years ago we asked our boss, Michael Osborne, for permission to stage “The Mikado” in the Japanese Gardens. Not only did he say “yes”, but he personally phoned the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company to negotiate a waiver to the performing rights, as technically speaking, we would not be performing in a theatre.
What was to have been a “one-off” proved to be so enjoyable and popular with very enthusiastic audiences that the outdoor Gilbert & Sullivan operetta at Tully became an annual event for several years.
These were great times. Michael Osborne’s enthusiasm was infectious and everyone who came anywhere near Tully was in danger of being roped into the productions in some form or other.
One evening after rehearsal he informed us that he had watched the action from the nearby bushes in the company of none other than the great Pavarotti who was highly entertained and declared us to be “… bellissimo!”
A lot of water has flown under the bridge since that golden age of fun and delight.
When I think of Michael Osborne, I think of music and can hear him saying “the show must go on.”
Pooh-Bah (Padraig Broe) being consulted by Ko-Ko (Conal Boyce) in The Mikado at the Japanese Gardens at the Irish National Stud
Little Maids from School; Pitti-Sing (Sinead O’Connell), Peep-Bo (Sorcha Boyce) and Yum-Yum (Irene Kavanagh) in the Japanese Gardens at the Irish National Stud
The happy couple; Nanki-Poo (Philip Scott) and Yum-Yum (Irene Kavanagh) performing in The Mikado at the Japanese Gardens at the Irish National Stud
Pooh-Bah (Padraig Broe), Pitti-Sing (Sinead O’Connell), Ko-Ko, (Conal Boyce), The Mikado (John O’Loughlin) and Katisha (Julie Duane) in full song in The Mikado in the Japanese Gardens at the Irish National Stud
Thank you to everyone who attended the show, we hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did making it happen!
All photogrpahy is courtesy of Rik Powdrill.