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Dick Whittington review at the Hexagon, Reading – ‘maintains panto traditions’

Dick Whittington at the Hexagon, Reading. Photo: Phil Tull Dick Whittington at the Hexagon, Reading. Photo: Phil Tull

Bringing Justin Fletcher back to Reading was always going to be a good move. With the surefire combination of a well-loved children’s television actor and the fact that Fletcher is a local celebrity, the rest of the pantomime ingredients could be surplus to requirements. Yet Fletcher never upstages his fellow cast, professional to the last. While he is the main attraction, the rest of the actors get equal exposure.

Veteran panto dame Paul Morse works the costumes and wigs as Sarah the Cook and Anna Mitcham diversifies successfully in her double role as Fairy Bowbells and Alice Fitzwarren. Becky Stone’s gymnastic training gives Tommy the Cat a suitable agility and Kerry Newell is the archetypal principal boy as Dick.

Jamie Sheerman sports a wild pink mohican as King Rat who sits on his throne stage left – a giant toilet cistern supported by his stooge Stinky, played by Alex Ranahan. William Finkenrath completes the cast as Alderman Fitzwarren.

Produced by Imagine Theatre, writers Will Brenton and Iain Lauchlan overindulge their passion for children’s entertainment by extending some of the scenes more than necessary but the key ingredients maintain the panto traditions.

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Justin Fletcher brings his unique brand of children’s entertainment to the Hexagon