At the weekend Theatre Royal Winchester hosted the first performances of its traditional family pantomime, Dick Whittington, and audiences have been raving about it ever since, emailing the theatre with praise and commenting on social media.
The pantomime, which tells the story of a man who seeks his fame and fortune in a London ravaged by the sinister King Rat and his rabble of Revolting Rodents, has been described by theatre goers as ‘absolutely brilliant’ and ‘one of the best pantos I’ve been to in years’.
Featuring Theatre Royal Winchester panto regulars, Ed Thorpe as Dick Whittington (Wally in last year’s Beauty and the Beast), Julian Eardley as Dame Dolly Dumpling (the theatre’s panto dame for 10 years) and Kristopher Milnes as the villainous King Rat (last year’s brilliantly flirty Bouffon), it also comes from the same creative team behind Beauty and the Beast – James Barry and Simon Slater who this year were nominated for Musical Achievement at the Great British Pantomime Awards.
The packed out performances were watched by audience members who have since said it was enjoyed by all ages; they have praised actress Jessie Angell, who plays Dick Whittington’s Cat and celebrates her pantomime debut this year; and highlighting the Dame’s costumes and how funny the character of Dick Whittington is, with one audience member saying panto ‘had us in stitches’.
Dick Whittington features plenty of catchy and original songs, audience participation, and hilarious jokes, and is a joyous experience that comes ‘highly recommended’. ‘Pantomime has begun’ another audience member put, adding that she ‘laughed until my sides ached, you’re never too old’.
Plus, so even more people can enjoy the show this year, the theatre has programmed a number of accessible performances. Relaxed performances provide a supportive environment for children and families with learning difficulties, special needs or Autistic Spectrum Condition, and people with dementia. Audio-described shows cater to visually impaired audiences, with a narrator describing the action on stage. BSL interpreted performances feature a British Sign Language interpreter. There is also a Touch Tour allowing audiences to visit the set and feel the props.
Dick Whittington runs at Theatre Royal Winchester from now until Sunday 5 January 2020. For more information, including performance dates and times, and to book tickets, visit theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01962 840 440.