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Dick Whittington review at Riverfront Newport

The influence of Roy Hudd’s love of music hall shines through his script, as staged by John David with a jolly ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’ costermonger liveliness that proves most appealing. Strong on plot, with attractive settings by Mark Hinton, this staging has the cast romping their way through the legendary tale of this country boy who thrice became Lord Mayor of London.

In the title role, Greg Gillespie combines most effectively in song and dance with the pert Alice of Samantha Paige, aided by the all singing, dancing, acrobatic Tommy the Cat of Dee Tails – a real standout performance.

John Graham Davies projects a smooth talking King Rat guaranteed not to frighten even the smallest child, while Larry Dan revels in his versatility as Fitzwarren, Captain and Sultan, as jolly a trio as anyone could hope to encounter in pantoland.

Mark Powlett scores as the simplest of Simons, at his best when working direct to the audience, while Will Williams more likable but less boisterous than many dames. Jane Dean as a juggling, roller skating, unicycling Fairy Bow Bells displays a rough down to earthiness that is quite refreshing. The routines for the youthful dancers are choreographed by Carole Lloyd. Musical director is Laurence Knight, with Phil Jeffery on percussion and drums.

Production Information

Riverfront, Newport, December 6-January 3

Author
Roy Hudd
Director
John David
Producer
Hiss & Boo
Cast
John Graham Davies, Larry Dann, Samantha Paige, Mark Powlett
Running time
2hrs 15mins

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