Reviewed by Nikki Cotter
Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The last mince pie may be long gone but the festive spirit continues at Warrington’s Parr Hall with this season’s panto offering, Dick Whittington.
Taking on the titular role of Dick is a hugely likeable and charismatic Amy Thompson from Channel 5’s Milkshake, who has walked from Gloucester to London with faithful cat Tommy in a bid to discover if the streets truly are paved with gold. Once there, Dick meets and falls in love with Alice (Amy Leek), however the course of true love never did run smooth as evil Queen Rat (Natalie Walton) is keen to try all she can to frame Dick as a thief, allowing her and her loyal mischief of rodent friends to take over the capital.
This Tony Peers Production gives exactly what you want from a traditional panto, there’s sparkly costumes, silly slapstick, plenty of opportunities to boo the baddie and a fabulously flamboyant dame in the form of the wonderful Mark Newell.
Jam-packed with witty one-liners and those traditional panto elements we all love – the doomed cookery scene, a hilarious take on the 12 Days of Christmas as well as a classic ghost and ghoulies scene, Dick Whittington delivers entirely.
This talented cast are clearly having great fun on stage and together with support from dancers from the Felicia Burns School of Dance offer a wonderful night of family entertainment.
Amy Thompson is brilliantly cast as Dick, engaging and entertaining with a strong voice to boot. The scenes between her and Amy Leek (Alice) work wonderfully with their voices complimenting each other beautifully. Leo Atkin and Daniel Dean keep the laughs coming as brilliant comedy duo Captain and Mate while Mark Newell makes for the perfect pantomime dame, sarcastic and dry he delivers a pitch perfect comedy performance.
Freya Ebbrell gives us a sparkling performance as the good fairy while Natalie Walton is the shade to Ebrell’s light as the evil Queen Rat, giving the audience as good as she gets and displaying her own incredible vocals when she gets her moment in the spotlight
Running at just over 2 hours including an interval, Dick Whittington is paced perfectly for families. Little ones were kept engaged throughout while there were plenty of cheeky jokes for the grownups to enjoy.
If you’re wanting to banish those January blues then get yourselves down to Warrington’s Parr Hall where this wonderful cast will treat you to a terrific time, oh yes they will!
Dick Whittington is on at the Parr Hall until Sunday 15th January tickets available here.