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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Review: Dick Whittington at Newcastle Theatre Royal



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Glamour On The Tyne

Dick Whittington
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Until Sunday 17th January 2016

Danny Adams and Clive Webb are making their triumphant return to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal for their 11th pantomime. The show has all of the glamour, the tricks and the tomfoolery that we have come to expect. The show never loses sight of the fact that it is there to entertain the audience whether they are 1 or 101. No wonder large numbers return year after year. After all The Geordies know a good thing when they see one.

Photo: Keith Pattison
The story of Dick Whittington usually involves Dick heading to London to seek his fortune but the Michael Harrison penned hit reverses the action back up to Newcastle.







Photo: Keith Pattison
Steve Arnott appears as the evil King Rat who has devastated most of the UK in his quest for world domination. Cue the first opportunity to have some friendly digs at neighbouring Sunderland. King Rat is heading to Newcastle but who can save us?



Photo: Keith Pattison
After 12 years in Emmerdale, as Val Pollard, Charlie Hardwick has returned to her native North East. She appears as the very Geordie sounding Spirit Of The Tyne - a fairy godmother character who looks after the region. The Spirit has summoned Dick to come to Newcastle and help catch the rats.


Photo: Keith Pattison
Danny Adams and Clive Webb are a safe pair of hands for this situation. As Dick Whittington and Councillor Fitzfenwick they seize every opportunity to make the packed Theatre Royal laugh. Fast one liners, fabulous tricks freely flow in a comedy masterclass. Chuck some water around and share a trampoline with Phil Seaman as Captain Birdseye – Danny makes it look so easy. The effort behind this façade must be immense.

Photo: Keith Pattison
The show features high production values and brilliant costumes and the most amazing designs are reserved for Dame Rita. Chris Hayward needs no introduction to the Theatre Royal panto regulars and Dame Rita’s first appearance is immediately greeted with “Hiya Hinny!”


Photo: Keith Pattison
Completing the cast includes Pete Peverley as Bobby the Cat. After seeing Pete on this very stage as The Bobby Thompson Story, it was not lost on us that this cat wore the Little Waster’s jumper and used a number of his lines to great effect.  Alice Stokoe is the love interest for Dick and Michael Potts returns as the village idiot. They are supported by a canny ensemble and the wonderful young students in Marron Theatre Arts.

Photo: Keith Pattison
The show pulls a number of effects out of the bag. The extremely large puppets are very convincing (and scary too!). The 3D effects are amongst the best that I have witnessed.  The show’s producers must be commended as the effects are fabulous but it does not use them as an excuse for lowering the intensity of other aspects of the show.

Photo: Keith Pattison
The pantomime is a magnificent return for the Theatre Royal’s favourite comedy duo.  Danny Adams is a real gem. Clive Webb, the perfect comedy partner.

Dick Whittington is a grand production, both entertaining and glamorous. This panto is the cat’s whiskers!

This review was written by Stephen Oliver for the North East Theatre Guide from Jowheretogo PR (www.jowheretogo.com). Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook www.facebook.com/Jowheretogo


Tickets:
Dick Whittington appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal until Sunday 17th January 2016.
Photo: Keith Pattison
Tickets are available from £12.50, (save 50p per ticket by booking online). Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (all calls are charged at 7p a minute plus your phone company’s access charge, calls from mobiles may vary, please contact your operator for details) or select your own seat and book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk








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