EVENING News Drama Award winners EUSOG (the Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group) are celebrating their 100th production this week by returning to the piece that started it all back in 1962 The Mikado.
In May of 1961 The Student newspaper reported the formation of a new university society dedicated to the performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas.
EUSOG, as that society became known, made their debut in the Mikado in January 1962, at the Little Theatre in the Pleasance - selling out every night.
Fifty-two years on, the company’s latest production of the famous comic opera runs at the Assembly Roxy, Roxburgh Place, until tomorrow.
In the town of Titipu, flirting has been made illegal. The penalty is death.
The main culprit, however, is the Lord High Executioner Ko-Ko, who wishes to marry his beautiful young ward Yum-Yum.
When Nanki-Pu arrives and declares his love for Yum-Yum, Ko-Ko has the perfect candidate for execution. Except that Yum-Yum, by tradition, would have to be executed with Nanki-Pu.
Director Aidan Heald says, “It was only fitting to go back to the start and bring a bold version of our very first show, The Mikado, to the stage.
“With a cast brimming with new faces - 15 of the 24-strong company - it’s exciting to see that 100 shows on, EUSOG is still drawing in the cream of the crop to produce wonderful G&S spectacles.”
Of EUSOG’s 100 shows, 61 have been by Gilbert and Sullivan, while others include Oliver! and Trial By Jury. The company’s 2013 Fringe production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown won a coveted Evening News ENDA Award.
President Caroline Hickling says, “The production team has worked hard to overcome the challenges of a new, unknown venue and they and the cast have put on another brilliant show.
“With three shows per year being a staple, EUSOG is going from strength to strength and rehearsals for our next show, Avenue Q, are already underway in time for the Fringe.”
The Mikado, Assembly Roxy, Roxburgh Place, until tomorrow, 7.30pm (Saturday matinee 2.30pm), £10, tickets on the door