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Dream role for Mangawhai songstress


Kathy Bygrave-807Joining Otamatea Repertory Theatre in 2011, Mangawhai’s Kathy Bygrave has appeared in many shows, but is now preparing herself for ‘the dream role of a lifetime’.

“I am very excited to be cast as Katisha in Otamatea Repertory Theatre’s production of The Mikado. Katisha is a very dramatic character. She first appears as mean and domineering but turns out to be as soft as butter underneath – although just a teeny-weeny bit bloodthirsty.”

Many will remember Kathy in Seussical as Mrs Mayor, and in Oliver as Widow Corney.

Directed by Peter Flower, The Mikado is ‘laugh out loud’ fun for the entire family, as Victorian England meets an imaginary imperial Japan.

Originally staged at the Savoy Theatre in London in 1885, The Mikado is arguably the most popular of all the operettas by masters of the genre, Gilbert & Sullivan.

Sparkling satire, marvellous melodies, and scintillating silliness abound in this topsy-turvy tale of love and misadventures. Leave your worries behind and journey to a make-believe land of lotus blossoms, levity, and laughter with The Mikado.

Legend has it, that the idea for The Mikado first sprang into William S. Gilbert's mind when an old Japanese sword, which had been hanging on the wall of his study for years, suddenly fell from its place. Gilbert took this as an omen and determined to turn his biting satire towards the East.

W.S. Gilbert visited the exhibition and learnt, from over 100 Japanese men and women employed there, proper aspects of their culture. His resulting libretto incorporates evocative imagery of an imaginary Japanese town crafted lovingly, while simultaneously taking stinging satirical aim squarely at his own contemporary England. For rather than a representation or reflection of actual Japanese society, the setting in a fictitious land serves to not so thinly veil the true subject of its satire, namely Victorian political and social hypocrisy – with a large dose of frivolity and fun!

n Opening night is Saturday July 2 with eight performances over three weekends.  An optional $20 two-course meal package is available for Friday and Saturday shows, at the Country Club.

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