Dick Whittington – Gleaming, Glittering, Sparkling and Uplifting

On Saturday evening people of all ages were treated to what can only be described as an “absolutely cracking show” at the Nottingham Playhouse.

I think you will agree with me when I say that there is no better way to kick off the festive season than with an expertly written, directed and performed panto which was this year, brought to us in the form of Dick Whittington. A song, dance and a stage full of lovable, bubbly and entertaining characters; were without a doubt the perfect mix for a wet and windy dark November evening.

As the glitter adorned curtain lifted to reveal the first set, we were immediately whisked away to a truly wonderful world of make believe by Dick Whittington, his family and friends who included: Tallulah – Dick’s lovable cat, forgetful yet endearing Fairy Bowbells, conniving bad-man King Rat, loyal Jack, Dicks mother – self-assured Sarah the cook, Dicks lover – dreamy Alice and mother of Alice – fractious yet hilariously funny – Florrie Fitzwarren.

The Plot…

The suitably assembled and highly entertaining cast lead us on an eventful, yet fun-filled journey which began with Dick Whittington and Tallulah searching the streets of London for gold. Of course, in life nothing is plain sailing and this couldn’t be truer for poor Dick.

After being initially rejected and banished from London by his beau’s mother after being accused of robbery from the family business (enter bad-man King Rat), Dick musters the courage and eventually returns to his friends and mother to prove his innocence. The team of travellers then head off on what should be an exciting voyage to sea.

Unfortunately the eight of them become shipwrecked in carnival central –Rio, but all is not lost when you have high spirits and loyal companions to see you through the hard times and after dancing and partying their time away after finally capturing nasty King-Rat they board a plane and the team return to London; where we finally get to celebrate the inevitable marriage of Dick and the gorgeous Alice.

A Lasting Impression…

There honestly wasn’t one cast member that didn’t fail to impress, each one left a lasting impression. I was particularly taken with Tallulah the cat- who was so very endearing and the Rabbits – who had me in fits of laughter as they wiggled and danced their oversized fluffy bunny bottoms across the stage.

From the minute the show started until the very last bow my son and I were mesmerised by not only the incredible characters themselves but also by the stunning set design and beautifully crafted costumes which sparkled and shined under each and every carefully positioned spotlight.

The choice of music couldn’t have been better and as the cast lead the way with the help of experienced musical director John Morton and their team of dancers; the crowd enthusiastically sang, clapped and tapped along to renditions of song by artists such as: Cold Play and Bruno Mars.

Sitting directly behind Award winning director Kenneth Alan Taylor gave me the chance to see this hugely talented man enjoy the fruits of his labour just as much as the rest of us. Throughout the energetic performance I caught glimpses of him reciting the words, he would then at times, react gleefully as characters such as Sarah the cook hit us with their funny one liners. The crowd lapped it up as they shouted out, clapped and generally embraced the vivacious atmosphere.

The Curtain Closes…

As the show came to an end a small group of children were asked if they would like to appear on stage to meet some of the cast and my son was one of the lucky five. This was a wonderful experience for him and he enjoyed every minute of it as did the others who exited the stage wearing big smiles and carrying a bag full of goodies.

We had a truly entertaining and magical evening which I can’t wait to repeat. It certainly has given us the perfect start to what I feel sure will be a perfect Christmas, so thank you Nottingham playhouse once again for giving all of us a five star night to remember!

Thanks to Robert Day for his incredible photographs

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