Dick Whittington & His Cat

Written by Mark Chatterton and Sarah Nixon, Directed by Mark Chatterton
Everyman Theatre from 3rd December 2004 to 22nd January 2005

Reviewed by Adam Ford

Following last year’s production of Mother Goose, the festive rock ‘n’ roll panto returns to the Everyman with compulsory singing and dancing. There are no minor soap stars or local radio presenters on show, but there are some decent entertainers who weave their way through an ambitious (some would say ‘magical’) stage set to the sound of laughter and decades of hits.

For those who don’t know the basic story, which planet have you been on all your life? Dick Whittington (Chris Redmond) is a squeaky-clean young man in search of fame, fortune and the gold-paved streets of London. Once he arrives, Dick discovers that the evil Maximus Ratticus (Jaison Beeson) is about to unleash his army of rodents on the city, for reasons best known to himself. Meanwhile, the pretty but dull Alice (Kate Pinell) is due to marry the rich, arrogant and remarkably named Sir Percy Pants Von Naselby (Francis Tucker).

All the songs were performed by the actors, who looked absolutely exhausted by the end of the show. At over two hours, the evening also proved slightly too long for some of the younger audience members, though those over about eight seemed to have a great time. If you like this sort of thing (or know a little person who does) then I can’t recommend Dick Whittington highly enough. Retreat to a simple world where Good easily triumphs over Evil, and mince pies will always be in plentiful supply.