Theatre

Dick Whittington at the Wycombe Swan Review

13 December 2019 to 5 January 2020

Reviewed by Sarah Bryan

Prepare to be dazzled by the glitz and glamour of this fabulous pantomime and to belly laugh until you cry!

Sparkles and Sequins. Glitter and Gold. Dancing, singing and hilarity. What’s not to love?!

Everything about Dick Whittington is big… big costumes, big voices, big laughs, big innuendo and big on delivering huge amounts of good old classic panto fun and frolics!

As the dashing Dick Whittington arrives in Olde London Town with dreams as big as actor Curtis Pritchard’s smile; he experiences joy, dashed hopes, the heady heights of romance and finally defeats the enemy to become the City’s Lord Mayor.

During this journey we are treated to Curtis’ full spectrum of talent as he charms the pants off the audience with his charisma and snake hips. He leads a dynamic and diverse cast that captures the crowd’s attention and pulls them under a starry spell.

The show was laced throughout with the strong silky sound of Leah Godbold who plays The Spirit of Bow Bells and who’s powerful vocal ability knocked us off our feet.

Our girls were excited to see Kiera-Nicole Brennan who they are familiar with from TV and who portrayed Alice Fitzwarren. She’s up and coming and almost certainly going places.

The kids’ favourite character was Idle Jack played with zany zest by Adam C Booth. He was bursting with exuberance and worked so hard throughout the whole performance. His youthful spirit appealed to the kiddos in the audience who felt a rapport with him.

Every good pantomime needs a baddie and a Dame and the evil King Rat (Jo Parsons) had the crowd booing, hissing and hiding under the arm of their grownup as he crept onto the stage bathed in spooky lighting and eerie music.

The panto Dame, Sarah Fitzwarren played by Thomas Howes didn’t disappoint when it came to tongue in cheek naughtiness and the most wonderfully creative costumes!

We had a taste of superb professionalism in Sultan Vinegar played by SPIN as he injected a fresh attitude and energy onto the stage.

I found the performance of TomTom the Tom Cat (Samuel Phelps Jones) particularly enjoyable as with not a spoken word he used his agility, grace and movement to bring the feline character to life.

This really is a carefully constructed main cast that delivers an all-round performance supported by a beautifully dressed and designed ensemble and joined on occasion by dancers from the local Jackie Palmer Stage School who were adorably cute yet professional.

The stage sets reflected the scenes perfectly and we particularly loved the sumptuous luxurious velvets and golds and jewelled decor during the second half with the Sultan.

Now there was something that happened during the performance that took the entire theatre by surprise. Something gigantic and truly jaw-dropping! An engineering feat! I feel as though I have to exercise a bit of caution here so that I don’t spoil the surprise because it is as my 5-year-old said, “Awesome!!!!” You’ll just have to see it for yourself but hats off to the team behind it!

I love the Wycombe Swan Theatre. The size of the auditorium means that it is intimate enough that wherever you are sat you are right in the heart of the action. It was lovely to join the masses of families piling into the foyer for this fun Christmas tradition. As always, the front of house staff as well as the stewards are fantastic – happy, helpful and professional. We found the PR team especially friendly and welcoming and highly organised. We were lucky enough to meet the cast after the show and it ran like clockwork. The food at the Swan is well worth a try too. We enjoyed fish and chips and the kids were in heaven with the slushie machine! There are lots of options for refreshments and snacks scattered around the levels.

The facilities at Wycombe Swan were immaculate and well stocked and it was good to see booster seats available for the small folk.

It has become a Christmas tradition in our family to make sure we see a local pantomime and this year’s showing of Dick Whittington at Wycombe Swan is simply fantastic. Today’s show was performance number 4 and it was seamlessly hilarious. Enjoyed by all ages, it’s a must see!

A well-deserved 4.5 stars!!!

Rating: 4.5/5

Tickets cost from £15 to £41 (booking fees may apply).

Dick Whittington is at the Wycombe Swan from 13 December 2019 to 5 January 2020, for more information or to book tickets visit www.wycombeswan.co.uk or call the box office on 01494 512 000.

Wycombe Swan, St. Mary Street, High Wycombe, HP11 2XE | 01494 512000

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