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Review: Dick Whittington – The Pantomime, The Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

PUBLISHED: 13:05 06 December 2017

Dick Whittington - The Panto: Chris Clarkson as Dame Winona.

Dick Whittington - The Panto: Chris Clarkson as Dame Winona.

Archant

Robert Wright throughly enjoys Dick Whittington, this year’s panto offering at Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal

There is something for everyone in this fun-packed and extremely entertaining family pantomime. It is packed with great music ranging from Queen’s We are the Champions to the odd sea shanty or two, a bit of Take That with Greatest Day and so much more. These will keep your toes tapping and hands clapping.

The characters are not only colourful - especially of course the outrageous Dame - but are very well cast and the stage chemistry is magical. Talking of which, it was left to Sarah Lawn in the guise of Fairy Pearl to keep the magical and reality together.

Chris Clarkson was a natural Dame and soon warmed to the audience, with one guy finding he had a lap full whether he liked it or not.

A clear hero was Corey Cross as Tommy the Cat who meowed his way through the show in seamless manner. Jessica Spalis proved an excellent Dick Whittington and provided a local Suffolk take on this character.

Now you normally have the one baddie but this panto provides you with two. Tom Roberts as the self-appointed evil Reginald Ratfield revelled in the boos and hisses that are customary with the role. However, his cheeky sidekick Nibbles (Nerine Skinner) was naughty, in a nice and definitely hilarious way.

Love came in the form of Dick falling for (well it was pretty mutual) Alice (Tessa Kadler).After a slight hiccup of major proportions which they overcame in true pantomime tradition, the couple went on to greater things.

I adored the Seabed scene with fluorescent marine life mingling in the dark depths with the shipwrecked cast to the music ‘The Sharkie Sings Tonight’.

An umbrella might be useful if you are in the stooge seats but - heigh-ho - that’s all part of the fun, isn’t it? The musical conductor wisely came suitably prepared with a colourful number which proved water pistol-proof.

So there are plenty of puns and innuendos but nothing to offend. And what a great way to get into the festive spirit.

Dick Whittington - The Panto continues until January 14

If you haven’t sent Santa your Christmas list yet, pop tickets for this festive-fuelled fairytale on it first.

It’s not Christmas without a visit to Red Rose Chain’s The Avenue Theatre. We spoke to writer and director Joanna Carrick and actors Emma Swan, Darren Latham and Ryan Penny about The Elves and The Shoemaker.

A great panto starts from the moment the audience enters the auditorium and starts looking at the set laid out before it. Arts editor Andrew Clarke talks to designer David Shields about the art of creating a larger-than-life panto world

DanceEast is staging the premiere of a new dance-theatre production of the children’s classic The Borrowers. Arts editor Andrew Clarke spoke to director Jane Hackett about putting dancers in the middle of an animated world

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis says Greg Davies, live in Ipswich as part of the You Magnificent Beast tour, is one of the funniest stand-ups she’s seen.

Robert Wright throughly enjoys Dick Whittington, this year’s panto offering at Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal

Cockney fun Fairy Pearl promised us she would take us to “a world of pure imagination”.

The Colchester Mercury clearly know that they have got a pair of panto superstars in the infectiously funny Dale Superville and Dame Antony Stuart-Hicks and have harnessed their talent for comic mayhem for another Yuletide adventure.

A pantomime being put on in a north Essex village is bringing members of the community together – and raising money for charity.

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