Reviews Jan 2019
Dick Whittington is one of my all-time favourites so I was very much looking forward to watching this production performed by CUDOS at the Victoria Hall in Crewkerne; a wonderful venue for a pantomime.
It was an absolute joy to meet up with familiar faces again. Thank you for the warm and courteous welcome and providing interval refreshments.
On my arrival into the hall there was a magnificent sewer pipe (if you like that sort of thing!) cleverly hiding the proscenium stage left and a glorious golden bell stage right. We could all guess who was going to make their entrances through these as the evening progressed!
The script, written by the popular Alan P. Frayn, was easy to follow containing necessary ingredients of a traditional pantomime, incorporating a lovely balance of songs. Overall the script was good – other than a few repetitive loo jokes – and seemed nicely shortened. At times I felt the dialogue in this pantomime clouded scope for greater and more imaginative activity. Additional audience interaction was required from principals and occasionally the show needed to be lifted up a degree with more energy and drive. Nonetheless this was Leonie Dash’s debut as director and having to start somewhere made a commendable effort. What a task you set yourself Leonie and at such a young age.
I could tell that you all work as a team as no one upstaged the other. There were certainly some memorable performances.
Richard Walters’ gave an excellent performance as King Rat. I have only ever seen you in a dress Richard! You attacked your audience right from the start making sure they disliked you immediately. You had great eye contact and tongue movement and built a tremendous rapport with us. A very convincing baddie.
The Ratlings all worked extremely hard playing their parts with great enthusiasm and energy. I loved the acrobatics. Congratulations Christian, Jess, Daisy and Lillie.
Natalie Gowan’s Dick Whittington portrayed the role realistically. You had good stage presence Natalie with clear diction. Your posture and manly strut always commanded our attention and I did notice the thigh slap! Your duet Rule the World with Jas Cook’s Alice kindled the romance and you both had a good balance of singing voices.
I very much enjoyed the antics of Lottie Dixon’s Tom. From the moment you walked on stage Lottie you had everyone held. Your movements were handled ‘purfectly’. Well done.
There were some lovely dance routines and praise must also be given to the junior chorus and off stage singers.
Strangely the scenes were not published in your programme but congratulations must go to Ann and Dave Brolly for their set designs. It was nice to introduce a UV moment although a little more imagination and movement would have enhanced this scene. Perhaps the final appearance of a shark may have been appropriate considering that we were all going to be singing about one later!
All costumes were society made and looked refreshing on stage. Make-up was a tad sparse though. Idle Jack’s features were unimaginative and I felt he needed rosy cheeks. Freckles would have also added enhancement providing an additional comedy touch. It also appeared that the Alderman did not have any applied at all!
The audience were with you all of the way and it was evident that everyone was enjoying your opening night production, especially those seated in the back row!
Thank you for letting me share Dick Whittington’s adventure with you. I certainly enjoyed my pantomime experience.