Christmas time means one thing in theatre land… Oh no it doesn’t… oh yes it does… it’s pantomime season!
This year Dick Whittington is playing at The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton with a star studded cast including joe McElddery, Suzanne shaw, Steve McFadden and my favourite Bobby Davro.
Dick Whittington moves to London seeking fame, happiness and fortune. He faces some trials and tribulations along the way, takes on the challenge of defeating the evil king rat, played by Steve McFadden. Watch this marvellous story unfold as Whittington saves the day, becomes the hero and the lord mayor of London.
I was unfamiliar of the story of Dick Whittington before, but this has now become my favourite pantomime of all time. Filled with innuendos and adult humour from the offset, I was genuinely laughing out loud throughout. Bobby Davro, Veteran entertainer and pantomimer was full of gags and class impressions (Donald trump, jack sparrow, Peggy Mitchell to name a few). He is an absolute natural born comedian and performer, and although some jokes were a little close to the knuckle , you can’t help but laugh at a man dressed as an ass!
It was like they were improvising on the spot with every line coming as a surprise, genuine laughs on the stage just helped create even more energy and humour to the performance. This was even more so in one of my favourite scenes, the classic “12 days of Christmas song”, absolute madness in stage, running around with probs galore and just great energy and fun, at which point davro actually threw himself into the audience.
Another Impressive set on the mayflower stage, with no expense spared on the glitz and glamour, which is so needed at a panto, not to mention the gigantic rat that joined the cast, enough to frighten people sat up in the circle it was that big!
As with any good panto, there was a lot of great audience participation, as well as booing and cheering the characters, we were all up on our feet cheering davro on for the last leg of his performance as he hopped around in a kangaroo outfit…. don’t ask!
Which brings me onto the costumes. So much colour and sparkle, the whole cast looked brilliant throughout the panto, however the Dame played by Andrew Ryan, had the best wardrobe of all the land, and had the most costume and wig changes I think I have ever witnessed in any show. Andrew Ryan is in fact a panto Dame legend, and after dick Whittington, I can see why, he is an absolute pro!
Dick Whittington was utterly bonkers but very witty indeed and had me laughing out loud from start to finish. The jokes may be a bit close to the mark sometimes but it was mixed in with songs from this year’s blockbuster the greatest showman and had so many light hearted, gentle jokes that the kids loved too. There is really something for everyone in this show which is what Christmas time is all about and pantos capture so well.
Dick Whittington is running at the mayflower until the 6th of January, so plenty of time to still go and see it. You can find out more and get tickets at the mayflower website here.
If you liked this then check out my other theatre reviews here for more fabulous shows!
*complementary tickets for review purposes. All views honest and my own.