Reviewed by Linda Curtain
A pantomime visit is always a great way to get into the Christmas spirit and Dick Whittington at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth will certainly have you feeling festive.
Arriving at the theatre last evening, everywhere was abuzz with people of all ages out for an evening of seasonal entertainment. Located on Royal Parade in Plymouth – which is beautifully decorated with twinkling lights – access and parking are no problem at the Theatre Royal. As always, the theatre was well decorated and a warm welcome given to everyone. The foyer cafe was very busy with people enjoying a pre-show snack and drink.
Dick Whittington is a classic, well-loved panto and the Plymouth production has all the necessary components for a successful show. John Partridge was very convincing as the ever-fearsome King Rat, Samantha Womack the beautiful Spirit of Bow Bells and a return to Plymouth for comedian Andy Ford, as Idle Jack, added the essential comedy element. Praise must be given to Alex Hetherington who was a stand-in for John Lumsden as Dick Whittington at last night’s performance. What a huge role for such a young ensemble member to take on and he performed brilliantly with well – delivered lines, excellent timing and tuneful vocals. Supported by his cat Tommy (played by Ryan Kayode), they made a great team as they worked together to secure Alice Fitzwarren’s hand in marriage. Alice (played by Daisy Twells) delivered some charming vocals and was very convincing in her role. Another essential pantomime element, the Dame, Felicity Fitzwarren, was played by Nigel Ellacott. A well-experienced panto dame, Nigel played the role brilliantly with a good combination of humour, extravagant costumes (14 outrageous outfits which he designed himself!) and good audience interaction.
Within the panto there were numerous local references and the west-country translator was very amusing. The whole evening was excellent – lots of laughs, wonderful costumes and beautiful, glittering scenery. The huge animated rat was suitably scary and a great piece of stage construction.
With a strong ensemble of dancers, the dance routines were slick and up-to-date. The team of local children were very charming and worked well within the company.
A fun-filled evening with just the right amount of comedy, glitz and audience involvement.
Go along to experience a fun-filled evening of traditional family entertainment at the Theatre Royal Plymouth this Christmas.
Tickets cost from £10 to £38 (booking fees may apply).
Dick Whittington is at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth from 14 December 2018 to 12 January 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.theatreroyal.com or call the box office on 01752 267222.
Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR | 01752 267222