Dick Whittington 1982 Review
DICK W’ has the lot – except the big crowds
There are just two days left to catch Dick Whittington at the Palace Avenue Theatre in Paignton. Paignton Pantomime Productions have laid on a panto to compete with the best and they deserve the audiences that their performance last Thursday failed to bring.
The scenery depicting the streets of London was spectacularly 3D, it would not have been amiss in the best of professional pantomimes.
The cast with an average age below the usual, showed timing and terrific energy. But the villain King Rat needed a touch more villainy and a bit more exposure to get the audience hissing. Nor would a touch more slapstick have gone amiss.
lain Douglas as Idle Jack was ironically the most lively of the cast. His singing and dancing sparkled and he had the' air of a true professional.
Tommy the Cat was played by Anne Marie Sisson. She won the heart of the audience, and rarely has such a realistic 'miaow' been heard on stage.
The tap dancers produced all the taps themselves more than you can say for many a panto these days, so often the tapping is merely a recording. Their timing, was impressive.
The dancing generally was one of the highlights of the show. Even the tiniest dancers did not put a foot wrong.
Sarah Smith in the role of Dick Whittington found her feet and the show went on and she had the ideal singing voice to fill the theatre.
But never was there a cornier lead into a song in any pantomime. 'On my last picnic all I had to eat was a rock cake and a roll’ said the Dame (Bert Westmore) – and it was straight into a rock and roll number . . . needless to say it got the laughs.
The Captain's' mate Scuttle was bravely played by Margaret Robertson, whose enthusiasm seemed endless.
Costume designer Georgena Pole did her job well and the hours of work that went into their making was obvious.
Musicians Peter Alan (pianoforte / organ) and Ron Jackson (percussion) did not form the largest of orchestras, but they performed as well – Peters simulated wasp on the organ was something to be reckoned with.
If you have not taken the children to see ‘Dick Whittington’ yet, kick yourself and do it tonight, tomorrow or Saturday.