From the Evening Gazette, 17 November 1970...

With some of the choicest talent drawn from operatic societies in Blackpool and the Fylde, with Robert Atherton, conductor of the Blackpool Symphony Orchestra, on the rostrum, the 40-year-old Marton Parish Church Operatic and Dramatic Society had every reason to feel confident in their production of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera "The Mikado", which they presented for the week at the church hall, Preston Old-road, Marton, last night.
Their confidence was justified.   Vocally and visually it was a pleasure to both ear and eye, and played with an ease and elegance that was a delight to watch.
The story of intrigue and amout in the town of Titipu hardly needs detailing at this time of day , but the Gilbertian wit and Sullivan score continue to exercise their ageless charm.
Eric Gilfoy as Nanki-Poo and Joan Addison as Yum-Yum made an engaging pair of yung lovers and Michael Hilton had the right touch of hauteur as Pooh-Bah.
Tina Bywater and Bebe Hilton as Pitti-Sing and Peep-Bo were perfectly in key, and with Joan Addison's Yum-Yum made the famous number "Three Little Maids" one of the hits of the show.
Chris Bennett's rich bass voice and impressive appearance served him in excellent staead as the Mikado of Japan, and John Burn as Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner, treated the part with a racy sense of satire.
The dramatic part of Katisha was played with immense effect by Isabel Straughton.
This was a bravura performance in which both singing and acting were brilliantly bleended
Alan Judge brought authority to the role of Pish-Tush, the nobleman, and Gary Elston as Ko-Ko's attendant, and standard bearers S. Archer, J. M. Harrison and Stuart Carter completed a faultless cast, embellished with the cast of schoolgirls, nobles, guards and coolies.
John Shedwick, an old hand in the production of the Savoy operas, handled his material with the smoothness and skill born of years of experience in Gilbert and Sullivan.
The singing was very good, and the music under Robert Atherton's direction was equally matched.
Age cannot wither nor custom stale the charm of "The Mikado" if it is well done, and Marton Operatic did it very well indeed.  - B.B.

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