Review: Dick Whittington, Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Dick Whittington at Wakefield Theatre Royal
Dick Whittington at Wakefield Theatre Royal
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Dick Whittington with its rats, shipwreck and opulent Medieval transformations can often be a difficult panto to stage believably. ap

But Wakefield Theatre Royal have pulled out all the stops with some wonderful storybook sets, spectacular costumes, excellent musical accompaniment and exciting choreography to make it so believable .

Daniel O’Brian’s script stays true to the original tale and includes every pantomime element from glamour and swashbuckling bravado to song sheets and lashings of slapstick comedy. However, with all this on a plate for them it’s a shame that some of the cast fail to do the production justice and its virtually left to John Currivan (King Rat) and Philippa Hogg (Fairy Bowbells and Bosun Beatrice) to drive the show and pull it together. Currivan is threatening, nasty and evil but manages to strike the right balance so as not to terrify younger audience members. Hogg is the show’s star with amazing stage presence she sings, dances and leads the song sheet – anf the kids love her.As Dick Whittington, Will Breckin is a good-looking, fine-voiced hero and combines well with Aaron Hunt’s gloriously physically lithesome purr-fect Tommy the Cat.

Liz Coggins

To January 3