Interview: Nathan Quadrio - Turning Japanese In The Northern Suburbs • Glam Adelaide

Interview: Nathan Quadrio – Turning Japanese In The Northern Suburbs

Arts Editor Brian Godfrey chats with Nathan Quadrio about making his musical theatre directorial debut with Northern Light Theatre Company’s up-coming production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado.


2019 is seeing a huge influx of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas! There have been three community theatre productions already, with one more on the way this week – and a professional version next month.

Nathan Quadrio

This week sees the opening of Northern Light Theatre Company’s version of The Mikado. Making his musical theatre directing debut is Nathan Quadrio. Nathan is not a novice however when it comes to G&S, and certainly no novice when it comes to directing; running his own company, IpSkip Productions, and being the Director of all the company’s productions so far.

Glam’s Arts Editor, Brian Godfrey, managed to catch up with Nathan and chat about Northern’s up-coming production.

B.G: What differences, if any, have you found directing a musical from your usual position as a director of non-musical plays?

N.Q: In so many ways I find the two styles very similar. When I direct a show I aim to stage it in such a way that there are clear images in the blocking. Musical theatre – specifically G&S – with its over-the-top style and choreography lends itself well to this. I’ve had the opportunity to choreograph this show as well as directing it, so that’s definitely been an exciting new challenge but the entire cast has been incredibly supportive and helpful! 

B.G: Why did you pick to do a Gilbert & Sullivan Operetta as your directorial debut of a musical?

N.Q: Directing The Mikado marks the end of a year of Gilbert and Sullivan for me. Having taken part (on stage) in productions of HMS Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance, directing The Mikado seemed like a natural choice. Pirates was also my first amateur show with Northern Light Theatre Company in 2012, so it’s sort of poetic to return to Gilbert and Sullivan with Northern in my first musical direction!

B.G: The show, although set in Japan, is often costumed in many varied ways (traditional Japanese, very British, futuristic etc). What is your vision, appearance wise?

N.Q: When talking about the original vision for the show, Gilbert and Sullivan used a non-realistic Japanese setting to satirise the British government of the time. This production tries to achieve the same idea while poking some fun at the Australian government and culture. Both our costuming and set are going for a clean and simplified version of traditional Japanese architecture and dress.

The Mikado opens at the Shedley Theatre, Elizabeth this coming Friday 11 Oct 2019 at 8pm, then continues 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 all at 8pm – with 2pm matinees on the 19th and 26th.

Tickets are:- Adults $32, Concession $26, Child Under 16 $20, Family (2A/2C) $90 *Booking fees apply

Bookings can be made by phoning 8281 5026 (9am-9pm) or Online at

Interview by Brian Godfrey

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