“Dick Whittington” Mercury Theatre, Colchester
Antony Stuart-Hicks and Dale Superville in Dick Whittington. Photo: Pamela Raith
“Dick Whittington”, Mercury Theatre, Colchester 3/12/16
Everyone loves a good pantomime and the Made In Colchester Panto, ‘Dick Whittington’ was my first this season and it has set a very high standard, as always.
These days, many pantomimes in Regional Theatres up and down the country rely on TV & Soap stars to attract audiences but the proof that good all round family entertainment doesn’t need this, is here at the Mercury Theatre.
You can’t help to be impressed by the sets which are fantastic and from the start of the show, it all goes with a bang and a huge barrel of laughs. All the cast were very strong, I particularly liked Glenn Adamson as Dick who reminded me of a young Brian Conley and Ignatius Anthony as Ratty King who had the perfect level of villainy, which was not too scary for the younger children but also had a good level of comedy thrown in for good measure.
However, the force of the show was held equally in the very capable hands of Dale Superville as Idle Jack and Antony Stuart-Hicks as Sarah the Cook.
Dale was such a cheeky character from the start and filled the stage with laughs and naughtiness which the audience just lapped up. The banter between him and other cast members was just brilliant to watch.
By contrast, I found it refreshing to see a traditional (and very glamorous) Dame in Antony. These days many dames are just ‘a man in a dress and DM’s’ but you could never say that about Antony. With the most amazing legs which would make most women green with jealousy and a challenging set of heels and wigs, he was a pure delight to watch. With a character deeply rooted in Lily Savage/Paul O’Grady he had the audience sitting sweetly in the palm of his hand. One of the best dames I’ve seen in recent years.
Audiences always love it when the ad libs take over and the cast get the giggles and in this show, that was a constant joy for the audience.
Dick Whittington, has all the ingredients needed in a top-class pantomime with a fun UV scene, the requisite slapstick – complete with water, cream pies and rocking set and of course – a spitting Pantomime Camel – What more could you ask for?
So, If you are looking for great family entertainment with fun for both the adults and children with jokes on both levels, great musical numbers sung well and superbly choreographed by Charlie Morgan, then get along to the Mercury Theatre. We are so lucky to have such a great venue here in Colchester who produce some truly great theatre and I sincerely hope they achieve the funding needed to see the theatre undertake the planned development and continue to produce great entertainment.