For some, the Christmas season would not be the same without a hearty helping of filthy humour delivered in the guise of the adult pantomime. This particular dish, with its decidedly unambiguous title, is served up by writer and director Stuart Saint and staged in the tiny cabaret lounge of this central London venue.
Saint takes the story of Dick Whittington, removes anything even vaguely wholesome and replaces it with ribald jokes, risque scenarios and more double entendres that you can shake a wand at. The blessing is that it is done with intelligence, respect, and is cast with a handful of talented individuals who know how to work their audience.
Gary Albert Hughes clearly enjoys himself thoroughly in the titular role, and his relationship with Nathaniel Tapley’s louche, cocktail-sipping cat opens up a whole realm of previously unimagined comic possibilities.
Rae Brogan is simply hilarious as Alice Fitz-Nicely, delivering a deliciously accurate satire on contemporary youth, while Lucyelle Cliffe and Laura Hyde provide vocal highlights as Queen Runt and Fairy Bell-End respectively.
Headlining is veteran drag queen Miss Dusty ‘O’ in the role of faded showgirl Sofonda Cox, who, despite a shakey opening, easily slips into the ensemble to become an integral part of the comedy.
Dick! may not win awards for subtlety, but people will wander from the underground theatre over the next few weeks knowing they had a good time.