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REVIEW: Dick Whittington
1:43pm Wednesday 11th December 2013 in Entertainments
SALISBURY Playhouse does a good pantomime.
And we were all looking forward to it, including the adults.
We had three children under ten with us, including a threeyear- old poised for his first panto experience.
“I go see Cat Whittington now?” he started saying at about 7am that day. By 7pm, he was very, very excited.
But the loud bang when Fairy Bowbells appeared on the stage had him clapping his hands over his ears in horror.
However, once he realised that what followed was singing, dancing and oodles of silliness, he soon came round.
Kieran Buckeridge once again pulled out all the stops as Mrs Whittington.
He’s a natural – with superb comedy timing and great facial expressions. He looks like he enjoys each moment of it every bit as much as the kids in the audience.
But perhaps his even more significant role in this show was in creating the original songs and music.
Often tunes that people know are better for pantomime, but these were wonderfully catchy and sung brilliantly by the vocally strong cast.
Tom Oakley as Dick and Laura Matthews as his love interest Alice were feistier than your usual rather wet and wimpy panto hero and heroine, which made a refreshing and welcome change.
Richard Hurst as King Rat was just the right side of villainous but not too scary (the children picked him out as a favourite character) and Tim Treslove was as twinkly-eyed and reliably funny as he always is.
My only slight criticism was that although it was never crude, maybe in some parts there was a little too much humour that was just for the adults and above the heads of the kids, which slowed the momentum a little for them.
It’s wonderful that there was a lot for the grown-ups to enjoy as well, but it’s a hard balance to strike and there were a few points where my friend and I were in stitches and the kids looked a little lost.
But it’s a very minor quibble. This is great all round family entertainment.
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