Dick Whittington – Mitchell Arts Centre 2021

★★★★

Back at the Mitchell Arts Centre in Hanley is TLC Productions with this year’s offer: Dick Whittington!

This is a beautiful intimate theatre in Hanley with free parking nextdoor (at Tesco – using the theatre’s parking registration service). It already makes alot of sense, but there’s much more…

This fabulous pantomime is outstanding from start to finish, with all the perfect panto ingredients to give you and your family two hours of great fun.

The title-role (played hilariously by Liam Burton) allows for plenty of jokes at his expense! But this crew manage to perfect the art of keeping any rude jokes (of which there are only a sprinkling) well above any children’s understanding – something that you can’t guarantee as many theatres seem to push these jokes a little too far. Burton is dry witted and daft, which provides many laugh out loud moments!

Tim Churchill plays Rat with outstanding characterisation and has the audience hissing and booing throughout in what is a brilliant baddie role.

Cathy O’Reilly as Fairy also delivers some comical moments (what happened to my part in Act 2 is a particularly genius scene) but also provides some insane vocals – a real treat in a show with excellent song choices throughout, used extremely well.

One of the many stand-out stars of the show is Lucy Wainwright as the Cat. She is comfortable and of high quality on stage, with great vocals and stage presence.

Den Seigertsz (BBC Radio Stoke) plays Alderman warmly and he is clearly an audience favourite and a great sport too. His on-stage daughter Alice (played by Suzanne Kendal) gives a classy performance, playing the role as a strong woman (not a “damsel in distress”) which is refreshing and welcome!

Ed Costello (also plays Imir) leads a talented group of young people with some great choreography and some really fun scenes with a small group of older children and a larger group of younger rats who are fabulous in their roles and used very effectively.

And finally, Matt Dye plays Sarah The Cook – tremendously funny role. He is an outstanding dame and will have you howling throughout!

Children and adults alike were singing along and having the time of their lives, and that’s what Christmas and the festive period is surely all about! Get your tickets if you can make it, you won’t be disappointed.

Dick Whittington plays the Mitchell Arts Centre, Stoke-on-Trent until 31st December 2021. Book your tickets, click here.

About Author /

Rob Stanway is the Editor of At The Theatre. He has reviewed the UK's best touring and west end theatre for over 10 years.

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