AS the clock ticks down to the opening night of a much-loved pantomime, the cast give a 'behind the scenes' glimpse into their characters revealing how the rehearsals are going. 

Playing her first professional role since leaving drama school, Olivia Hewitt-Jones plays Alice Fitzwarren. Alice has promised her father Alderman Fitzwarren that she will stay and try to make a success of their cafe, but she doesn't want to.  

Salisbury Journal: Alice Fitzwarren and Dick WhittingtonAlice Fitzwarren and Dick Whittington (Image: Wiltshire Creative)

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Olivia said: "She is not your average panto girl. She is very driven and has dreams of becoming an actress. Alice is inspired by Dick for his dreams and he is inspired by her for her drive."

Olivia likes her character.

"She has a bit more substance, and she is fun to play. We actually end up in Hollywood at one point but you will have to come and see what happens."

Will Carey plays Dick Whittington.

He said: "He's a dreamer, he's a people person but he's a 2023 version. Of course, there's all the usual tropes, and yes, he's the hero but it's not just about him saving the day."

Will added: "He goes on a real journey. So the Dick Whittington you see at the start of the show, is not the Dick Whittington you have at the end."

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Salisbury Journal: Percy RatPercy Rat (Image: Wiltshire Creative)

In the fight of 'good against evil', there has to be a villain and in Dick Whittington, actor Will Jennings plays evil Percy Rat. 

Will Jennings said: "Villains are the best to play. It's a good part. In this, I just get to be bonkers. That appeals to me. He's a successful business entrepreneur, and he's very clever but he may have a bit of a chip on his shoulder about how people view rats."

Hugh Osborne used to lecture in Victorian literature but now, as an actor, plays Alice's father Alderman Fitzwarren. 

He said: "I was fortunate enough to have my mid-life crisis early and ran away to theatre school when 37. 

"I run the last independent greasy spoon cafe in London but I don't run it very well. It was my wife's baby, but I try to run it the best I can.

"But our arch villain King Percy Rat is trying to take over every restaurant. We are the only thing standing in his way between total domination of London's culinary scene."

How does the cast get on behind the scenes?

Hugh said: "We have been very blessed with this company, they are such a nice lot. To gel, we just went to the pub on the first week. You have to fall in love with your company, otherwise, it can be torturous."

Wiltshire Creative's production of Dick Whittington opens on Saturday, November 25

To purchase tickets, visit