Dick Whittington – Stagedoor Productions
The panto season is well underway, and Stagedoor Productions are, as ever, on track as they take us through the story of Dick Whittington, complete with a trip to the shores of Morocco to meet the Sultan (Elaine Sessions).
This traditional pantomime is full of fun for all the family. With just the right number of corny routines, slapstick for the kids, and catchy songs, it has all the ingredients necessary to keep everyone entertained. Some very funny gags including the shopping trolley sketch and the anticipated chase. All executed with audience participation at the fore. The opening number was bright, colourful and set the pace. Teresa Harper as Fairy Bowbells leads this number with vocal style. King Rat (Ben Stanier) creates mayhem in trying, without success to overcome all obstacles to retain his title. The costume for King Rat was very good.
As Alderman Fitzwarren (Dave Haycock ) struggles to keep his shop open, his daughter Alice, played with sincerity by Helena Carter, is on board to help. The arrival of Dick Whittington and his cat, Tom, also leads to an extra pair of hands in the shop.
Charlotte Parmer takes on the title role and comes across well as she makes her mark on Alice and fights to ensure a blemish on her character is reversed. Mairead Coburn is “purrfect” as Tom the cat. Very agile and cat-like. A well characterised performance.
The glue holding all this together are stagedoor regulars Graham Cohen and Philip Morris. Individually and together these two know how to play an audience. As Idle Jack, Graham is well within his comfort zone ensuring every ounce of the comedy is exuded with style and with perfect timing.
Philip is a cracking dame, and his interpretation of Sarah Suet is brilliant. His audience interaction is spot on and a complete costume change for every entrance was done with precision.
The ensemble of young people was step perfect as they executed the well-choreographed routines. Set design, (complete with rocking ship), light, sound, props and wardrobe are all spot on.
Looking forward to Sleeping Beauty next year already!
Paul Cohen – BATS 17/12/22