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Dick Whittington review at Queens Theatre Barnstaple

A feisty feline with a huge ego and enormous attitude, Dee Tails’ Tommy must be one of this year’s best pantomime cats.

Lithe and graceful movement, total focus and energy give life to the role while his believably expressive face makes this well-loved character unforgettable. But the show’s success also lies in Richard Gauntlett’s script. Under John David’s direction a lively cast maximises the fun to keep up a cracking pace.

With the immensely capable Butler and Brown (Richard Alan and Tim Payne) at the helm as Sarah the Cook and Idle Jack, the comedy is in safe hands. And there’s some superbly timed dead-pan comedy business from an unruly ship’s crew aboard HMS Armadillo.

Jokes are never laboured, coming thick and fast and getting laughs from the start in this colourful and traditional family show. Integral to the story, a plague of rats is given full value by a promising juvenile company choreographed by Vivienne McMaster (Fairy Bow Bells) while horrid laughter echoes around the auditorium as Peter Ellis’ big, bad King Rat seeks to carry out his evil plan.

With winning ways and good voices Leon Kay’s Dick Whittington and Pippa Duff’s enchanting Alice complete a well-balanced, talented and successful ensemble.

Production Information

Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple, December 13-January 6

Richard Gauntlett
John David
North Devon Theatres in association with the Hiss & Boo Company
Cast includes
Peter Ellis, Richard Alan, Tim Payne, Pippa Duffy, Leon Kay, Dee Tails.
Running time
2hrs 30 mins