'Dick Whittington' at Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre
Going to see a Pantomime in December has always been a Christmas tradition of mine. Each year we all book our tickets and enjoy a festive night out, have a giggle and a sing-song. Whether it's an amateur dramatic or professional production, the result is always the same and I absolutely love it and I don't think there's anything more British than a pantomime. This year was even more so special as I was able to celebrate with many others Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre's 125th Anniversary.
Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre were lovely enough to invite me along to this year's pantomime of the classic story 'Dick Whittington' written and directed by Ian Adams, who also stars as Sarah the cook. Like most professional pantomimes, the show is packed with wonderful show-biz legends and 'Dick Whittington' is no exception! Starring as the leading man himself, we have 'Coronation Street's' Ryan Thomas, 'Hi-De-Hi's' Jeffery Holland, comedian and impressionist Aaron James, and TV legend Su Pollard!
We follow the story of Richard Whittington (Ryan Thomas), a boy travelling to London to seek fame and fortune, who is befriended by a cat called Tommy (Jordan Ginger) that was gifted to him by the good fairy 'Fairy Bow Bells' (Julie Paton). Dick finds himself in the heart of London where he meets our fruitful characters Idle Jack (Aaron James) his mother, Sarah the cook (Ian Adams) Alderman Fitzwarren (Jeffery Holland) and his daughter Alice (Katie Marie Carter). Alice convinces her father to let Dick and Tommy work for him in exchange for a place to stay and things seem to be going well... but would a pantomime be without a little evilness? Unbeknownst to our protagonists, the Queen Rat (Su Pollard) was planning revenge on the town after she was banished to the sewers upon losing the title of Mayor. Will she prevail in making the town suffer at the mercy of her rats? Will Dick become mayor and defat the Queen Rat? Will Sarah the cook ever find the man... men of her dreams? Book your tickets to see this iconic pantomime at Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre! The show will run until January 12th 2020.
The show is full of comedic one-liner after another and had me laughing hysterically throughout the entire performance. Su Pollard, Ian Adams and Aaron James have perfect comedy timing and had me crying with laughter. A perfect comedy trio. I was also delighted by all of the music in the show ranging from Ian Adams take on Judy Garland's 'I don't Care' to Su Pollard's version of Billie Elish' 'Bad Guy', I was singing and clapping along to my heart's content, although that may have been the wine... I digress! But of course, no pantomime is complete without audience participation and we definitely got a lot of that involved. 'Dick Whittington' had all the traditional phrases that we love so dearly and it was wonderful to see a new generation of children participating too. One of the most outstanding moments in the show was definitely Su Pollard's giant rat (no pun intended, please don't be filthy) that literally took our breath away by its sheer size and detail, I think a huge standing ovation needs to go to the set design and props department for that... I shan't tell you any more about it as I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise, or scare you for that matter!
A huge congratulations to the entire cast, crew and everyone else involved with the 2019/20 production of 'Dick Whittington', a cracking night out with 5 stars, 10/10, top marks from me. A spectacular show for all the family and I definitely recommend you book you and your loved ones some tickets, sit back and enjoy the show!