dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

101 Dalmatians review at Gateway Chester

The number of dalmatians on stage may fall short of 101 but no-one is going to feel short changed by this absolutely gorgeous production.

For a start it looks wonderful. Janey Gardiner’s sixties design is a riot of op art. Then there’s the movement – chases, falls, slapstick, choreography (by Lorelei Lynn) and gymnastics (by Ceri Sass). This could be wearing but isn’t thanks to the ebullient skills of the adult cast and the children playing the puppies.

It was an inspiration to start with a routine involving walking the dog, quickly introducing the audience to the actors as both humans and dogs. Duncan MacInnes and Janine Hales are a delight as Pongo and Missis, despairing of training their human pets, splendid Justin Brett and Jo Castleton. Basienka Blake’s Cruella de Vil is an immensely stylish villain, not easy when the whole role is played on stilts.

Ian Jervis and James Malcolm are a hoot as female cook and butler. They, like many of the others, also successfully play other roles. Jo Castleton does a lovely ‘Allo ‘Allo! parody as Lieutenant Cat. There are delicious jokes, both verbal and visual, to cap one of the most delightfully good humoured Christmas shows I’ve ever seen.

Production Information

Gateway, Chester, December 3-January 8

Author
Dodie Smith adapted by Glyn Robbins
Director
Richard Williams
Producer
Chester Gateway
Cast includes
Basienka Blake, Duncan MacInnes, Janine Hales, Jo Castleton
Running time
2hrs

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
^