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REVIEW: Dick Whittington and his Wonderful Cat, Princess Theatre, Hunstanton

Once again the pantomime at the Princess Theatre in Hunstanton will be providing live entertainment for families and school parties from now until New Year’s Day.

This year “Dick Whittington and his Wonderful Cat” take the lead in a cast of experienced performers, admirably supported by promising youngsters from the Rollason Stage School.

Pantomime is at its best when there is plenty of audience participation. Oh yes it is! Missing from the dress rehearsal was a real audience, but this did not prevent the cast from fully engaging with a ‘skeleton’ crowd.

Chiara Castania as Queen Rat (23321994)
Chiara Castania as Queen Rat (23321994)

The fact that they did so with great enthusiasm and obvious fun, suggests that real audiences will be wowed by this lively and colourful show.

Some of the slapstick routines may seem familiar to those with years of panto experience, but we can still enjoy guessing how a particular comedy sketch will end! The story line more than makes up for it, with some novel twists and turns, before good triumphs over evil and Dick (Tom Shiels) is able to achieve his ambition while winning the affection of Alice (Hannah Kiss).

Fortunately, Alice is much better looking than her mother, the Dame (Mervyn Francis)! In days gone by Tom’s adversary would have been King Rat, but in these more enlightened times, Tom’s cat has to contend with evil Queen Rat (Chiara Castania). In her dialogue with Fairy Bowbells (Jessica Spamier) Chiara delivers her lines without any hint of an Italian accent.

The cast of Dick Whittington and his Wonderful Cat (23322006)
The cast of Dick Whittington and his Wonderful Cat (23322006)

The accents are left to the comedy duo, a sea captain and his mate (Sweet & Simple). The presence of a ship on stage leads to the inevitable storm in which it sinks, followed by an underwater spectacular involving ultraviolet light, before the main characters end up in a foreign land. Fortunately, with a little bit of fairy magic. there is still time for a happy ending with lots of singing and dancing back in old London Town.

There will be numerous performances from now until the final show on January 1.

For full details see the advertisement in the Lynn News or visit www.princesshunstanton.co.uk; tel: 01485 532252.

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