DICK WHITTINGTON REVIEW

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – until 6 January 19

Reviewed by Leanne Caplis

4****

Qdos Entertainment brings this year’s pantomime, Dick Whittington, The London Palladium Production, to the Mayflower Southampton.

The show sees Dick Whittington (Joe McElderry) on his adventure to become Mayor of London whilst trying to get Alice (Suzanne Shaw) to fall for his charm. Can The Spirit of the Bells (Sheila Ferguson) guide him on his way and help him defeat King Rat (Steve McFadden) to achieve his goals?

Throughout the show it is impossible not to be amazed at the staging, set design and visual special effects provided by Ian Westbrook and The Twins FX. A real sensory treat for all ages, whether you had a huge 3D rat staring directly in your face or a bus flying overhead that you felt you could touch – everything was top draw!.

Joe’s voice in particular was outstanding, and the clever use of well-known songs had the audience singing along. Both Joe and Suzanne deserve a mention for their parts in this show. There were several moments of unease when Sheila seemed to forget her lines or place on stage, but these were quickly forgotten about with the clever improvisation of all adding some pure entertainment.

Lots of cabaret moments made the story hard to follow and the lengthy set of Idle Jack greeting the audience at the end and singing his kangaroo song seemed misplaced and too lengthy. It seemed a lot of wasted time for nothing in return other than the reappearance of the cast to take a bow. Perhaps a full cast sing-a-long would have been a more fitting end.

For me the stand out star of the show was Bobby Davro. Bravo to him for his energy, quick one liners and facial expressions. The comedy within the pantomime is superb and by the end my cheeks and tummy hurt from laughing. Although this was the story of Dick Whittington at times you could be excused for thinking it was the Bobby Davro show. Some may find the adult humour a bit daring at times and perhaps too obvious to the younger audience.

An all-star line-up with good comedy moments means this show is worth a watch and I recommend it to young and old alike

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