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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.


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

Kevin Kennedy will forever be best known as Coronation Street’s loveable loser Curly Watts, but he is also a stage star. His latest role is an all-star musical version of Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends, which allows him to rekindle his love of this region.

Fresh from being ravaged by hunger and sand-flies on Channel 4’s Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls, Shazia Mirza returns with a show about lies and truth - or are they the same thing these days?

The 80s are officially back, with Fame The Musical coming to the Ipswich Regent later this year.

The cast of new musical An Officer and a Gentleman has been revealed, featuring top West End talent.

Taj Mahal chef Sayid swaps the kitchen for the stage in The Chef Show, part of PULSE presents.

Crazy for You at the Ipswich Regent, all week until Saturday.

Energetic and intense, dynamic and diverse; it’s a fast paced musical and lyrical journey for Teddy and his young girlfriend Josie.

They say never work with children or animals but Norwell Lapley Productions do both very well in bringing Rod Campbell’s timeless children’s book Dear Zoo to life on stage, writes MICHAEL STEWARD.

Known best perhaps for playing Brookside’s Lindsey Corkhill, Claire Sweeney’s causing just as much trouble as bridezilla Irene in the classic musical Crazy For You, at the Ipswich Regent from Tuesday.

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