ENO's production of The Mikado does not use a stereotypical Japanese staging; rather, the costumes were more like Upstairs, Downstairs crossed with St Trinian's and the set was reminiscent of Paddington Bear with the perspective of M C Escher. This cleverly alludes to the way in which The Mikado is really a satire about the British and nothing at all to do with Japan. It's just some far away land that one can claim is very different to our own, whilst then, with a little Topsy-Turvydom, showing its absurdities to be remarkably similar. The plot is really rather standard, one of unrequited love, marital mishaps, bureaucracy and bungling.
I'm not sure whether W S Gilbert intended his "I've got a little list" to be reworked endlessly, but it is a number that works well when blended with contemporary references. So on last night's list, inter alia, were Derek Conway MP, Nigella Lawson, and the Archbishop of Cantebury. I needed something to lighten my mood, and by coincidence this was timed rather well. I can't exactly remember what it was that rhymed with Shariah, but I await to hear of the fatwas placed on the directors of ENO.