Panto time is here and Newport Riverfront’s tenth anniversary year is ending on fine form with yet another unmissable treat for the family.
Hiss and Boo’s presentation of Dick Whittington wastes no time in getting into the story-line of how Dick and his trusty cat, Tommy travel to London to flee the capital city of rats. However, following their successful arrival the pair are framed by King Rat for a crime they didn’t commit.
To win the hand of the Alderman’s daughter, Alice, Dick must prove his innocence, but not before taking to the high seas on a trip to Morocco where King Rat is attempting to cause further havoc.
Combining adventure, comedy, song, dance and the occasional double entendre for the grown ups, Dick Whittington takes in a variety of locations from South Wales to London and on to Morocco via the seven seas.
Newport’s own Gareth Tempest heads the cast in the title role as a believable, all singing and dancing hero with a dash of Douglas Fairbanks Jr about him.
Nerine Skinner breaks the mould of Fairy Godmother’s by delivering an energetic and fun portrayal of Bowbells.
Tommy the cat is portrayed by Emma Goodwin with an almost athletic flair as she cartwheels on to the stage.
Michael Onslow takes on no less than three roles as The Alderman, Sea Captain and Sultan, frequently playing the straight man to other cast members crazy antics but getting plenty of laughs on his own accord.
Pantomime Dame, Lee Mengo has his role of Sarah The Cook honed to perfection, raising laughs while bringing much warmth to the role while Elin Llwyd is simply fabulous as feisty female Alice striking the balance of superb acting and throwing in a few song and dance routines for extra razzle dazzle.
Richard Elis’ King Rat brings a baddie the audience love to hate and he received much in the way of hisses and boos during Thursday nights performance.
Finally ensemble performers Alexander Day, Joshua Galvin, Chrissie Perkins and Ioanna Kamenou bring some tight and well constructed choreography to the show in multiple roles.
Fun for all the family, Dick Whittington runs at Newport Riverfront until January 4, 2015.
A version of this review by Andy Howells was published in The South Wales Argus during December 2014.
Gallery photographs featuring the cast taken on press night by Andy Howells.