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Theatre Review: Dick Whittington

Is it really December if you don’t make a trip to the panto? You simply can’t ignore this great British tradition…

Dick Whittington is this years panto for the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. They’ve taken the much-loved story that we’re all familiar with, of a handsome young Country boy who comes to London to conquer the rats, and unleashed it to delight Suffolk audiences. Are you wondering if it’s for you? Here’s why I think you should snap up tickets…

  1. It’s tradition! – In this production you’ll find everything you’d expect from panto. It’s oozing in innuendo, which is even more amusing when you watch the children’s faces puzzled as to why their parents are sniggering. You’ll find yourself trying to dodge the splash zone – a place I unfortunately didn’t avoid, as I took a squirt to the chest! Oh, and you must ensure your vocal chords are prepped and ready for all the audience participation of boos, cheers and sing-a-longs. It has all the music, magic, fun and laughter you’re after. 
  2. Solid cast – Each member of the cast has an impressive number of credits behind them; proving you don’t need “star casting” for a sell-out or a great evenings entertainment! In a gender swapped role, Jessica Spalis as Dick Whittington was a joy. Chris Clarkson as Dame Winona Whittington was a treat; I believe it takes a certain type of actor to pull off a dame, and he did it with such charm. Though a particular highlight for me, was Tessa Kadler as Alice was as she had a stand-out voice and played the dorky yet adorable Alice brilliantly. Though each member truly deserves a hearty round of applause!
  3. The music – Listen out for the likes of panto favourite of Holding Out For A Hero, well-known hits from across the years including Take That’s Greatest Day, Queen’s We Are The Champions and Walk The Moon’s Shut Up and Dance With Me. Plus, they even found time to pay homage to local lad Ed Sheeran, with a romantic ballad between Dick and Alice on his divide album track of How Would You Feel. Even a few kids on the back row couldn’t resist the urge to sway along.
  4. Visual treats – With impressive sets and costumes, prepare to be left in awe – particularly at a certain underwater scene. Plus, I have to mention the incredible backflips and dancing from Tommy the Cat (Corey Cross) – you could hear moments that had adults and kids alike gasping in wonder.
  5. Jolly good fun! – Ultimately, this is all that panto is set out to be. If you want to switch off from the stress of gift-buying, christmas cooking or the busy period at work – then find your escapism right here. Just sit down with the family, and be entertained.

Overall, it really is the perfect festive family treat, in a lovely welcoming venue. Never underestimate the power of small regional theatres – as I’d argue this is one of the best of its kind, so get there if you can. 

Catch Dick Whittington at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds until the 14th January 2018; but tickets are flying out fast, so don’t delay. Book now: www.theatreroyal.org/dick-whittington.

Though if you can’t make it to Bury St Edmunds, make sure you do check out your local panto and support them if you can! 

♥ MOLLY THE BLOGGER ♥

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