After much uncertainty during this year of lockdown and Theatre closures. The King’s Theatre has bought the Pantomime back to Portsmouth just in time for Christmas. With many seasonal events cancelled it’s fantastic that some Theatre’s are now staging productions again.
Starring Sean Smith as Dick Whittington, James Percy as Silly Billy and the traditional ‘baddie’ Queen Rat performed by Julia Worsley the very talented cast bring laughter, music and all-round family ‘feel good’ fun to the stage.
Jack Edwards in the role of Dame Dolly once again bought the classic role of the pantomime Dame to life. This is my second year reviewing at The King’s Theatre and Edwards was one of the reasons I chose to return. With an abundance of charisma and flamboyant costumes it’s no wonder he is chosen each year.
For each performance, the audience is asked to name Dick’s cat (Billie-Leigh Roberts). Tonight she was called Eileen, much to the amusement of the cast. I was completely in awe of her costume, the detail and colours are fantastic. The attention to detail in her make up are phenomenal an absolute credit to Ronnie Parr’s eye to detail.
The comedy in this year’s production has been aimed at the adult audience as much as the children. After such a turbulent year Theatre goers certainly welcomed the laughs as the raptures from the auditorium proved. My teenage daughter found the adult humour hilarious and was pleased I had persuaded her into accompanying me.
Social distancing and no contact rules took place between the cast, many comedic references being made throughout the performance. The use of a magic light switch incorporated into the script allowed scenes like a kiss to take place when the auditorium plunged into darkness and all you heard were the sound effects. Very simple but effective device.
Choreographer Becky Herszenhorn alongside Director/Writer Paul Hendry has most certainly had their work cut out in this seasons pantomime. Yet the production doesn’t lose any of the magic or entertainment that you would have normally expected. They deserve to be very proud of what they have achieved during these unprecedented times.
Along with my hard to please fourteen-year-old critic, we would both highly recommend Dick Whittington as a definite Christmas treat this year for all the family. Huge congratulations to everyone who has been involved in bringing it to the stage.
Photo credits Andrew Searle.
Running from 8th December 2020-3rd January 2021. Please use the link for tickets and further information.