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Dick Whittington

“Full of genuine warmth”

Buxton Opera House’s pantomime may be low on big name stars and special effects but it’s high in on humour and full of genuine warmth.

Director Philip Dart’s lively script, faultlessly delivered by a well-drilled cast, is full of funny, but inoffensive gags, though the emergence of a massive sausage from an oven in an otherwise routine cookery scene generates a lot of laughter of the nudge-nudge variety.

Last year’s popular comic pairing of James Holmes and Matthew Jay Ryan are back to provide the bulk of the comedy. Holmes adopts a Vera Duckworth-like voice for his engaging Sarah the Cook, while Ryan keeps the story rolling along nicely in the title role. The show is also blessed with a fine King Rat, thanks to Alistair Lee, whose stage presence and strong singing voice combine to create a wicked charm.

Charley Vincent is an acrobatic Tommy the Cat and Richard Blackman’s clipboard-wielding Percy the Pest Controller is a delight. He, too, has a terrific singing voice, though has less opportunity to air his vocal talents.

A team of young local dancers, choreographed by Lily Howkins, are impressive and the sets are particularly striking for a small production company.


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Production Details
Production nameDick Whittington
VenueBuxton Opera House
StartsDecember 8, 2018
EndsDecember 30, 2018
Running time2hrs 30mins
AuthorPhilip Dart
DirectorPhilip Dart
Musical directorAdam Gerber
ChoreographerLily Howkins‬ ‪
Costume designerJo Deaville
Lighting designerGuy Dunk
Sound designerTerry Saunders
CastAlasdair Baker, Alistair Lee, Charley Vincent, Charlotte Harrison, Gabrielle Green, James Holmes, Matthew Jay Ryan, Richard Blackman, Rosie Coles
ProducerBuxton House, Ctp Pantomimes
VerdictAn entertaining, traditional production that punches well above its weight
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