Sunday, 7 December 2014

Review: Dick Whittington, Lyric Hammersmith

“Are you fond of cake?
‘Definitely, I’m northern’”

How come there haven’t been any pantomime reviews on here this year?
I’m not going to go to any pantos this year.

Oh yes you are.
Oh no I’m not. Well, maybe one or two. This one is written by Tom Wells after all.

He’s behind you.
No he isn’t, he was sat in the stalls last night though and we were in the circle.

DICK!
Pardon me,

(thigh slap) DICK!
Oh I see, the panto was Dick Whittington and that was the audience had to shout whenever Andy Rush came on stage, fnarr fnarr.

Keep it clean please, that’s my job. BAPS!
Yes, that was the dame’s name. Stewart Wright wasn’t half bad actually – his Beyoncé…Knowles joke is still making giggle at the thought of it.

Dick Whittington has a cat doesn’t he?
Yes. And some other friends – trainee fairy Bauble and a budding London mayoral candidate called Sooz

So not exactly traditional then?
No, but that in itself has become the new tradition at the Lyric Hammersmith and after something of a shaky beginning last year, Wells feels very much at home here. DICK!

Oh, let it go.
Actually no, they didn’t perform that despite going to the North Pole. There’s a good mix of new and classic pop though.

Did they have sweets?
Not for people in the circle.

Did it snow?
Not on people in the circle.

Did you enjoy being in the circle?
I did actually – safe from audience interaction and far away enough to get some real satisfaction from bellowing DICK! And BAPS! without traumatising too many children.

Would you recommend it?
I surely would. Freed from the baggage of star casting, you get the real sense of company camaraderie here bolstered by a cracking young supporting ensemble. There’s a genuine sense of real fun, a healthy dollop of barely-disguised smut, plenty of Wellsian touches to make it unmistakeably his work (truly, Hull becoming City of Culture in 2017 is the world’s gift to him), and there’s a Bon Jovi singalong.

DICK!
DICK! indeed. 

Running time: 2 hour 20 minutes (with interval)
Programme cost: £2
Booking until 3rd January


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