21st Jan, 2019

REVIEW - Dick Whittington - Leamington Royal Spa Centre

CHRISTMAS is never quite the same without a good panto.

Over the years Leamington’s Spa Centre has established an enviable reputation with a string of fine professional festive productions, and Dick Whittington is the latest offering which is sure to get young and old alike purring with satisfaction.

Imagine Theatre present a refreshingly modern adaptation of the classic rags to riches story of hero Dick and his feline friend Tommy the Cat who set off to London to seek their fortune.

But will they be able to save the city from the plague of rats that are rampaging through it? Of course they will!

There is not a weak link in the cast, from Dame Dolly, marvelously played by the show’s writer JP McCue, to Chris Gage’s wonderfully energetic Tommy the Cat, who even slips on a pair of roller skates at one point.

Musically the audience is treated to everything from Abba classic Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie (A Man After Midnight) to a joyous audience participation version of the 12 Days of Christmas complete with a three cupped bra.

This is a show which cleverly manages to work for all ages – much as The Simpsons does – but for

parents or grandparents left wondering what Baby Shark or flossing are all about their grandchildren will easily be able to explain.

But when the cast enter the stalls and start squirting the audience with water pistols then that needs no explaining. That’s just great fun, and the audience roared – and not for the only time during this terrific production.

Dick Whittington runs until December 30. There is a signed and relaxed performance on Friday December 21 at 2pm.

Visit www.warwickdc.gov.uk/royalspacentre/events/event/1001/dick_whittington for tickets and further details.

Patricia Varney

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