The institutions and peculiarities of Britain are not hard to spot in Gilbert and Sullivan's Japan-set satire, The Mikado, which comes to Malvern this month.

One of the most famous pieces of musical theatre, which ran for 672 performances at the Savoy Theatre after its debut in 1885, it is once again being brought to life from Tuesday, January 27 to Saturday, 31.

This time, Worcester's Gilbert and Sullivan Society does the honours, with lavish costumes, a full orchestra, bountiful choreography and a chorus of more than 40.

The story follows the son of the Mikado, who avoids marriage to an elderly lady of his father's court by fleeing to Titipu, where he falls in love with the Lord High Executioner's ward, the beautiful schoolgirl, Yum-Yum.

Meanwhile, the Mikado demands that an execution take place in Titipu and Ko-Ko consents to the marriage of his ward with the disguised prince - on condition that he volunteer to be beheaded at the end of the month.

The show revolves around the constant opening and shutting of fluttering fans from men and women alike, including the squeaking and giggling Three Little Maids from School, and Pooh-Bah, who, with his, waves away awe-stricken and hysterical feminine admirers.

With a flick of another fan,

Ko-Ko illustrates the decapitation of a guinea pig.

The satirical slanging match has been produced by Sue Coleman, whose previous productions include Iolanthe, The Sorcerer and HMS Pinafore.

David Whitehouse, who has made a name for himself locally and further afield, has taken on the role of musical director and also pledges an excellent evening's entertainment.

In the principal roles, the Mikado is played by Colin Potter, Ko-Ko by Robert Hannah, Yum-Yum by Cherril Watkins and Nanki-Poo by Adrian Rogerson, with Peter Key as Pooh-Bah.

Tickets, costing between £5 and £10, are available from Malvern Festival Theatre's box office on 01684 892277.

Performances start at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.