In terms of monetary outlay, it’s fair to say that PMA Productions is at the other end of the scale to big spenders like Qdos.
There are no pyrotechnics or 3D sequences in this Dick Whittington, but even with his limited resources producer George Critchley still manages to put on a decent show.
This is a well-balanced and entertaining traditional panto. A shame then that the script, while featuring some fun puns and topical gags, is on the wordy side and allows little scope for physical comedy. Some knock-about stuff would have been a welcome addition.
From the cast, Keith De’Winter makes a suitably raucous Dame Sally, while Critchley himself pumps up the audience as (the anything but) Idle Jack. There are also some fine performances from Kelly Aaron and Laura D’Arcy in the roles of Alice Fitzwarren and Fairy Bowbells. A dozen well-drilled dancers are supplied by the locally-based Studio 5 Stage School.
But, probably out of necessity rather than choice, this is largely the George Critchley Show and he deserves credit for producing, writing and directing a quality product despite severe financial restraints.