ALL and Sundry’s latest pantomime Dick Whittington provided a truly magnificent evening of festive entertainment which left the audience buzzing and, surely, voiceless from all the booing and cheering.
And with quick-fire one-liners coming thick and fast throughout and more double entendres than you can shake a wand at, this show is just as much for the adults as it it is for the children – maybe even moreso – just as the perfect pantomime should be.
It’s not often the dame has to tell the crowd to ‘behave itself’ so frequently.
A hugely talented cast brought a fantastic script to life and delivered a superb seasonal show just in time for Christmas.
The carefully crafted choreographies were a joy to watch, particularly the dance in Fitzwarren’s shop using giant candy canes and the pre-Under the Sea scene where Sarah, Jack and the council workers are the most unlikely, but pretty impressive, ballet dancers.
There was an abundance of comedy from Emma Hay and David Healing as Spade and Shovel and Mustafa and Leak, Max Ponsonby as the hapless and hilarious Captain Bilgewater and Graham Forbes and Ken Messenger as Floribunda and The Sultan.
Mark Clayton has made playing the panto dame his own – he must be the first name on the team sheet when daring director Alison Berrisford is compiling her cast.
Dave Berrisford as Idle Jack got the crowd going well and, as they stomped their feet and did countless Mexican Waves, they were putty in his hands.
Barbara Treen was the fairy those watching loved to love but the performance of the evening went to Ed Loboda as arguably the best villain of all the pantomimes – King Rat. He had the audience booing, hissing and shouting at him loudly for the duration he was on stage and he earned every single reaction with his performance – evil personified.
Of the songs, the duet between Dick (Emma Stevens) and Anja Parkes (Alice Fitzwarren) was very touching and the dazzling rendition of Take That’s Shine could not have provided a finer finale.
But the most breathtaking scenes of the evening were those ‘Under the Sea’. All and Sundry has been excelling on the UV theatre throughout every one of its pantos and somehow have been improving year on year. This one was the greatest to date.
It was magical, mesmerising and was, rightfully, given the loudest cheer and applause of the evening that, not only raised the roof, almost ripped it off.
Whether you are three or 103, All and Sundry’s Dick Whittington is a must see – but book soon, the tickets are going like hot mince pies.
Tickets for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are £14 (£13 concessions) or £43 for a family (two adults, two children or one adult and three children).
For Friday, Saturday and Sunday, they are £15 (£14 concessions) or £47 for a family.
They are available by visiting www.artrix.co.uk or by calling 01527 577330.