If not working on the good ship Saucy Sal then where would cast members of DICK WHITTINGTON rather be? In a song, the leading cast members tell us, with hilarious results! With a nod to the Mayor of Hedon, Dick wants to wear a posh gown and throw pennies; Dame Shirley the Cook wants to be Mayoress (and needs help from someone called Des to put the blown-over Christmas Tree back up!). The Hedon Pantomime version of the song “If I were not upon the stage…” is just superb, from the boxing cat, ranting Idle Jack to the screaming Dame!
There are lots of things to love about Panto 2016 Dick Whittington which takes us on a journey from the countryside (Rimswell is mentioned) into London, to Morocco via an excursion to the bottom of the sea.
Former Mr Nice Guy (used to play the comedy roles) Dave Jordan, this time, plays the wicked King Rat entering the stage to the ominous Darth Vader theme from Star Wars – so you know when to start booing! Dave is wonderfully boo-able as King Rat with his ratty, beaky, silver nose and ratty long tail. King Rat delivers all his lines in rhyme… and he does it all the time! Magically, whoever else he talks to in the show ends up rhyming too! We didn’t know it, but King Rat’s a poet! Yes, it really is infectious this rhyming lark…!
The lead character Dick Whittington role is played by Cat Jordan… and while I would love to elaborate on Dick being played by a Cat, that would just distract and confuse! Cat plays Dick to great fun and effect and everybody feels sorry for him when he’s wrongly accused of stealing and so can’t marry his sweetheart Alice. Awwwww! Just watch Dick closely for the facial expressions, quizzical looks, and especially the manic, funny-face in the song mentioned above… the face of an actress!
It’s probably unfair to mention a stand-out performance, there are so many good bits with each cast member contributing, but Beth Jones as Tommy the Cat is remarkable for being able to say so much without speaking! Gesture, expression and mime are the tools used by Tommy to communicate – with a little bit of song thrown in – and Beth does a great job as the loveable puss, donning boots and a sword for the finale to become more than just Dick Whittington’s cat!
Chris Fuller is great fun too as Idle Jack; a comedy role that seems to have had his name on it, allowing him to interact with all the other characters and the audience. I feel the script should have allowed for Jack to have had a catchphrase and an opportunity to make more of his banter with the audience. And how did he manage to keep that pencil from falling out from behind his ear??
Another mystery was that provided by the characters Fitzzy, Captain Horatio and the Emperor of Morocco – they all looked very similar, obviously being played by the Storey triplets… surely Daniel Storey couldn’t have played them all? Nobody can change costumes that quickly – can they?
“I’m 100% women,” declared Panto Dame, Sarah the Cook, beating her chest “but in here, beats the heart of a man!” Just one of the lines played with gusto by Hedon Drama Group newcomer Patrick Wilkinson. It is sometimes hard for a younger person to play the world-weary Panto Dame, a wizened, wrinkly old face seems to be a pre-requisite. But not in this case – the buxom-bossomed character of Shirley was played marvellously by 18-year-old Patrick who seemed to relish in the role and obviously really enjoyed himself on stage.
Congratulations to all the Hedon Drama Group cast members for keeping the tradition of Pantomime alive in the town. And to Blog Readers – if you haven’t booked your tickets for tonight’s show and tomorrow’s – do it now! If you haven’t got a child to take – go anyway because it’s great fun!
Just one note of criticism: It was a windy night that blew and clattered the Alexandra Hall’s ventilation system making an annoying noise, so some of the quieter actors just needed to ‘up the volume’ – Projection darlings! 🙂
Friday 29th January 2016 @ 7:30pm
Saturday 30th January 2016 @ 2:30pm and 7:30pm
Children and concessions £5
Friday and Saturday family of four entry for £18
Pay on the door, but to reserve tickets contact Dave on 01482 896592.
Beth Jones is Tommy the Cat, Cat Jordan is Dick Whittington and Laura Jones is Alice Fitzwarren
“If I were not upon this Blog… a Panto actor I’d rather be!”